Well, 2008 is upon us. How did you fare during 2007? You know my main saga for 2007 – being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and fighting same. Yet, I am thankful. I have been graciously given a whole year of extra life. I am thankful to be able to address you after these arduous months. I am thankful for the many cards, letters, phone calls, emails and prayers on my behalf. Make no mistake, these gifts were bestowed upon Olive as well. You see, it is just as hard for her. I have the physical she has the mental anguish. She does quite a lot to keep me in high spirits and properly nourished.
As I look back to February, when my illness was confirmed, I remember my first bouquet of flowers from one of our nieces. She had called early in the morning to express sadness, wish me strength as time progressed and her prayers. That afternoon we received flowers from her. Ironically, the flowers were delivered by a Florist with the same name as her sister. I received a phone call from her sister also.
I remember the first ‘Get Well’ card from the children living on each side of us. It was hand made, with large crayon writing and appliqués. Beautiful! I remember tearful phone calls. I remember folks calling, writing to let me know they were praying for me and that they had passed along the prayer request to their respective churches. Fantastic indeed.
I remember my Aunt’s visit. On the surface this may seem benign. However to get here she had to fly. In order to fly direct, she had to drive 120 miles, spend overnight in a hotel to catch her flight…repeat in reverse to return home. I’m 60. She is a bit older. Oh, did I mention this was during the winter?
I remember frequent calls and visits from family and friends.
I remember consistent visits and phone calls from our church family.
I remember our son enduring a whole summer with his weak father and ‘parenting’ mother.
I have only skimmed the surface of support provided to us this year.
I am a Christian and I am serious about it. We are not alone in this battle, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is with us. Just because we are Christians does not mean we do not get sick. It does not mean we live until we are too old to count our birthday anniversaries. It means we are not alone during the good or during the bad. It means we have someone who will go through the rough times with us. It means we have someone who will cure us. The cure maybe on this side of Heaven or it may be on the other side. It is not our decision. It is our decision to accept God’s plan for us.
2007–a year I was not promised-came to a close. I am thanking God for all of you and praying for you as well. I may not be here this time next year, but rest assured, I have experienced the worst of health with the best of family and friends this year.
Anthony / Tony and Olive
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
A beacon of faith.
A very dear friend of mine went home to be with the Lord last year. He was sick for five years with brain cancer. In the five years that he suffered physically from this horrid cancer, God also blessed and used him greatly. The life he once lived on earth is still being used to touch people to this day. He was truly a herald of the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ.