I could not have survived the past 5 months had it not been for the incredible efforts of my beautiful wife. Her Little Life has saved me. Through waking up and waiting up at night, pharmacy trips, measuring medicines, doctor’s appointments, endless note taking, tears, more tears, sacrificing her own schedule, her work and a thousand others things, well, it makes “Little Life” sound a bit non descriptive, doesn't it? I am amazed by her willingness to do all and still be ready to do more. Recently I sat next to a friend who noticed that Loretta, who was sitting a short distance from us, was concerned that I had entered the room without my cup that I must carry with me constantly. When he noticed her concern he leaned over and said, “You've got a great wife”, to which I readily agreed, followed by “the best!” And she is.
About this whole cancer thing… Never in my worst dreams did I think I would be facing this at this time of my life. It’s amazing how fast it came upon us, how fast the treatment was able to start, how fast the different feelings and emotions swept over us, and how fast the people around us came to our side with every kind of support imaginable. I have often wept as I looked into the face of someone who extended a hand of help, service, love, or concern, and could only utter a barely audible “Thank you”. I could not have understood the depth of my feelings for them without the past months of our trials and pain. What changed? Was it our realization that they cared, or how much? No, it is something deeper than that. There is a spiritual connection between people when things are done out of love, without words even being spoken. So when I look at you, with tears in my eyes and see something deeper than our outward appearance, know that I feel for you more than what I could before, more than I can describe. How could I ever curse God through the things I suffer?
**Religion Alert** If you tend to shy away from spiritual things, please don’t do so for a moment, there is something I must say. During my time in the U.S. Navy I had the great good fortune and privilege to be a part of the Submarine Service. I have seen many different nations, many different people, different faiths, different reasons for believing in God. I have seen a few who hid behind it, many who hid from it, a few in it for show… but others who believed, prayed and worshipped because they truly knew that God exists, who felt an eternal obligation and sense of reverence that faith in Him was necessary and desirable. Not as a crutch, but as a strength. It was during my time as a sailor in the sea that I came to know that God does live, and that I would be accountable to Him for what I did and did not do with my life. A particular scripture became my own:
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
So these past few months have found us not in the depths of the sea, but in the depths of sorrow, and the scripture that so often comforted me then is a strength to me now. I testify to you that God has sustained me, he has sustained us. I have called out to him for very specific blessings and they have come. I do not know where or how this experience of cancer will end, but through it all I know that it is His hand that holds us. Others may doubt, but I am only responsible to God for what I know to be true. I stand as a witness of Him to you, that he lives. He is our Heavenly Father to whom we will all one day return.
And now… the title of this blog. Before all this radiation thing happened I could barely grow any hair at all under my nose or on my chin. What did grow was all but invisible. But now… and I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse, but NOW I have this wonderful growth that is a dark color that NEVER graced my face before! We joke that it looks like a bit like…
a Woolly Worm. If that’s the case, and coloring is relevant, we're in for a hard winter this year. There is another theory about the mustache. Kind of scary actually, because it looks a little like……….
Yes, Fu Manchu. I am probably a relative. Electrolysis maybe?