When Tyler Henderson was diagnosed with brain cancer, Marni brought their two sons home for online schooling so they could spend as much time together as a family while they still had the hours, the weeks, the months.
Turns out, they only had fifteen more months together. Which wasn’t nearly enough time.
Tyler and Marni
Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player ever to fly the planet, had this to say about success:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.
There’s a difference between appreciating something and having something take your breath away.
I appreciate that I have a dependable vehicle. But I find myself holding my breath over certain strains of music. Or wildlife in my backyard on a snowy day.
Wildlife and wild color in my backyard (photo: Marlys)
I walked beside my husband, Gary, with late stage prostate cancer for ten courage-filled years. The experience taught us to pay attention to life and its simple pleasures and the astonishing people who surrounded us in love.
There are numerous folks dealing with cancer who have suggested it is a gift … and countless others who would never refer to it that way. “Would you re-gift it?” someone once asked sarcastically.
But consider this thought from one of my cancer-fighting friends …
When Katie Strumpf was diagnosed with leukemia, there were no online resources or publications to offer guidance to a 10-year-old kid dealing with cancer. She endured chemo, spinal taps, and bone marrow aspirations.
While still going through treatment, Katie told her mom that someday she would write a book for children with cancer, offering encouragement and practical advice from someone who’s put up with doctors and medications and hair loss.
There’s a chapter in Gary’s and my story, titled “The Wilderness Years,” that lasted for more than a decade. A windswept, barren, bleak, heart-throbbing trek through financial reversals, and a live-in parent sinking into dementia, and a terminal cancer diagnosis, and the death of a most beloved husband, friend, life partner.
Most of us would edit some chapters of our stories if we could.
Now that I’m perfectly content and happy and have purpose in this season of widowhood, I’m tentatively, cautiously, hesitantly — maybe — considering male companionship. (My children have given their blessing to dating and remarriage, but my son had one stipulation: “As long as he has a yacht.”)
Photo credit: Unsplash