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I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin & a best friend. I am a poet, a lawyer & a survivor. I've learned that God will give you a second chance.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Several of my friends are participating in the 30 days of Thanksgiving postings. I always think it’s a nice idea but never seem to get my act together enough to participate. This year, November is particularly interesting for me. It was five years ago that I was diagnosed with cancer. And five years ago that I had surgery (which is where I mark my cancer-free day). What makes it interesting this year is that the calendar lines up exactly the way it did five years ago. Five years ago, November 2nd was a Friday. Five years ago, November 29th was the Thursday after Thanksgiving. So, it got me thinking about my 30 days of Thanksgiving.

1.     I am thankful for my husband of 26 years. He loves me and stuck by me in our darkest hours. He truly lived “in sickness and in health.”

2.     I am thankful for my family.

3.     I am thankful for my friends.

4.     I am thankful for my colleagues.

5.     I am thankful for my classmates. They stuck by me, helping me finish school and graduate with them.

6.     I am thankful for the administration at my law school. They stood by me and supported my choice to graduate with my class.

7.     I am thankful for my great-niece Kiley, who was born near the end of my treatments and reminded me that life goes on.

8.     I am thankful for my doctors. It is through their dedication and research that I received the best possible treatment for my diagnosis.

9.     I am thankful for my nurses, who held my hand and let me laugh at the ridiculous.

10.  I am thankful for the Angels in Oncology; nurses and volunteers who took time to be with me.

11.  I am thankful for my career.

12.  I am thankful for lasting friendships; both near and far.

13.  I am thankful for my kitties. They make me smile by just being themselves.

14.  I am thankful for my beautiful home.

15.  I am thankful for new friends.

16.  I am thankful for fresh air and sunshine.

17.  I am thankful for music and dance.

18.  I am thankful for my Avon Team. Together, we are in it to end it.

19.  I am thankful for books and the ability to read; whether for learning or escape.

20.  I am thankful for good food and good drink.

21.  I am thankful for my Goddaughter and her sister. Two beautiful young women who are like daughters to us.

22.  I am thankful for my niece who went from being my little girl to being my sister.

23.  I am thankful for my nephew. I am proud of his choice to protect our country in the Army.

24.  I am thankful for my siblings and cousins. You are the best friends I could have.

25.  I am thankful for my parents. (You can blame them).

26.  I am thankful for travel and the ability to see the world.

27.  I am thankful for laughter.

28.  I am thankful for a warm fire on a cold evening.

29.  I am thankful for my past because it has shaped who I am in the present.

30.  And most of all, I am thankful for my health.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Men of Faith

Recently I attended the memorial service of a friend. He was one of my husband’s closest friends and an agnostic. I remember one time, sitting in my living room, listening to him explain that he really didn’t know if there was anything beyond what we have right here and now. His feeling was that this life is it; and then it is over.

As friends gathered at his home I looked around at who had come to pay their respects and show support to his widow and orphan. There is the circle of friends who share the same hobby and are part of our inner circle. The men who live in the area were there. And then there were the ones who came from a distance. Some, a very long distance.

What struck me most about these men is their faith. I looked from my husband to these men and realized they had more than a hobby, an annual vacation, and a friend in common. These are men who know there is a God and live their lives to honor Him. My husband presents as quiet, conservative, and a little reserved. But deep inside, he holds the truths of the Bible close to his heart; living each day with the moral principles that he was taught as a child. He treats his employees, customers, and clients with respect. He does what is right because it is all that he knows.

His friends are the same. I know them through their wives as part of our annual get-together. When they get together they party, and play, and celebrate life. When they give me a hug or ask, “How are you?” they mean it. They are men of honor and integrity. I know that they each shared their faith with him.

I am deeply saddened when I think of what these men lost with the death of their friend. It occurs to me that each one of them had a special friendship with him. And it is that friendship that helped create the relationships I saw that day. God brought him into their lives. But more importantly, this man, this agnostic chose to hang out with these men of faith. And God brought these men of faith into the life of someone with questions.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nature's Antidote

I am affected by the changes in the length of daylight hours. I think most of us are. Some, more than others. This year I became acutely aware of the short “days” around mid-October. Rather than give into my lack of motivation I decided to rake up the leaves from my driveway today. This accomplished several things.

First, I got some exercise. Second, and more importantly, I got some fresh air and a healthy dose of natural sunlight. And the icing on the cake? My driveway no longer looks like a hiking trail in the woods.