Day +731 HAPPY 2nd Birthday.. yesterday :)(I apologize for the length, sounding preachy, and rambling in advanced )
As my heart continues to find the balance between grief and joy, anger and love, jealousy and gratitude, fear and faith- I am choosing the latter of all of these this month.
November now has a new meaning of thanksgiving.
On November 6th, 2 years ago, I lay next to the love of my life , between the 4 small walls on the BMT floor at Emory University hospital. I would most nights, push my converted couch to single bed up next to Mike’s bed , so they touched making close to a full size 😊 Often making it difficult for nurses to access his port. Sorry for that. But yet 20+ night stays, became to feel like an eternity to be sleeping with space between us.
On this particular night, I cried extra tears and prayed countless prayers as he slept.
Mainly begging for God to give us more time.
For this gift of life he was about to receive to bring his weary body back to life.
For us to one day be able to thank this person , who was giving Mike a second chance.
For him to survive and give us so much time for more memories to be made and for the kids to be able to grow to really know him.
It’s hard for me to even type that, but that is the reality of our new normal.
On this particular day of the journey, Mike has been beaten down by full body radiation and chemo for a week. He lay there with absolutely no immune system. None. No good cells at all. Not one would be present in his body to fight off an infection. Proven to us a week later as we journeyed to ICU when his body became septic. So the fact that he doesn’t have to many memories of that day is not surprising. Just memories that the ICU wasn’t that bad 🙃He laid there hardly talking and I was desperately missing the full of life personality that poked fun at most every stupid thing I said. I missed his sense of humor and ability to make me laugh most of all. He is who brings joy to this journey we are walking together.
November 6, I lay there praying and begging to God because I knew this reality about his body and there really is no word to describe the fear my body felt.
I laid there anticipating the most important day of Mike’s life. No not the 2016 election of Donald Trump. Kidding. I know that was the fear of the world but I selfishly admit , I didn’t give a damn about the election. My world had become as small as these four walls that surrounded us and I could barely see the light creeping under the door at night. The world also seemed as dark and in as much turmoil. It seemed it was an outward representation of the inside of my body. Everything completely out of control. I felt I was slowly giving up hope on everything. And the world seemed to validate that.
But today is a new day. Full of new perspectives. And as mad as I can feel on certain days about the pain Mike has been through, I can always find myself back to feeling ten times more on the grateful side.
So here we are two years later and as I reflect on my selfishness that election and we approach Mike’s 2nd birthday and midterm elections, I realize I was very wrong to have not cared. To have given up a little on hope.
Here we are …
Jake now 8
Celia now 5
And Graham almost 3.
Here we are…
Having made countless memories with Mike these past two years and will continue for years to come.
And I am so very thankful.
I thank God for the continued gift of time.
I thank God for the goodness of people.
People who pull us through daily.
I thank God for Dr. Kota , who refuses to give up on Mike.
I thank God for the selfless act of kindness from our other Michael.
I think God for the gift of tiny miracles in the tiniest of cells.
Miracles do happen.
Most likely not the way you want them to. But they happen.
Mike is a miracle.
Though , I believe it is in those small things where we find the truest miracles.
The everyday , small things.
Believing in small things ....
It is in the tiniest of cells from another human being.
In the smallest act of selflessness from this stranger.
In these tiny acts of kindness is where I have witnessed how much small things matter.
Mike is living proof of that.
And who am I to think my vote doesn’t matter. It’s like believing the small cells wouldn’t make a difference for Mike.
So yesterday I voted.
Voted in hope and faith and love. Voted because I believe that Miracles happen .
Voted because I believe God’s grace and love shows up in small acts of kindness.
I believe that this is what it will take to change the chaos of the world AND the chaos of cancer.
We MUST focused on the small things.
We must listen to each other’s story.
We must to sit with suffering long enough to see the good.
The good in each and every person.
We must love each other, despite the odds and differences.
We must be patient.
“Small things with great love, are more potent and powerful than we realize, because they reconnect us with the spiritual roots of life and its transformative and healing energies.“Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Last night , the five of us celebrated Mike’s second birthday. We laugh a lot and ate ice-cream cake.
It was a perfect night, where joy and love filled are home. I am grateful for God’s grace that shows up even when the pain is immeasurable. And Mike’s pain, is something he does a good job of hiding in many moments. Please pray for the perfect balance of GVHD. We are on a tight rope we do not want to all off in either direction. His treatments have gone pretty smoothly. So we give thanks for that.
He told me that yesterday at work, there was a customer that was sitting in the showroom for a while and was talking to different people as they walked by. A little while later Mike walked past the man and he spoke to Mike saying, “ Are you Mike?”
He said yes and sat down next to him. Mike didn’t know the guy but he told Mike , “ I think we have something in common” and told him his story about his prostate cancer. He looked at Mike and just said, “ You are gonna be ok.” Mike told him that he didn’t know how much he needed that today.
We have experienced too many small moments like this to not believe in tiny miracles. Hope , faith and love live here.
The Dr. Suess quote,
“ Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not!
Continues to play in my head.
And so Mike and I keep fighting and surrendering with the help of others, to beat cancer, because we care an awful lot about the future demolishment of cancer, the patients, and all tragedies in our bleeding world.
We keep trying to do small things , to find the good.
To encourage people to hang on in the dark.
Two weeks ago our family was blessed with THE most amazing “Grace” . And as I have held my new sweet niece , this tiny bundle of pure love, I return to faith while witnessing the truest form of miracles we experience on earth. We are born out of love.
Mike’s new cells were given out of love. And so we will continue to share love in all our days ahead.
I won’t give up hope in this world because I have witnessed the power of what love can do. Gods love. Grace comes. Sometimes it’s tangible. ❤️
Happy 2nd birthday to my favorite life partner! You will always have “whatever it is.”