This blog post is part of the continuing story of our family’s journey facing my husband’s cancer with grace that only the Lord Jesus can give. If you would like to read the story from the beginning, go here. This one is my favorite and was written by my wonderful husband for his blog. There is a link to his blog at the end of this post.
Pretzled together like a couple of young lovers my wife and I enjoyed our Sunday afternoon nap. I awoke and admired this gift from God snuggled next to me…again. Gratitude is frequently my reaction to everyday events that once passed by barely noticed. The gift of another day for me is hardly ordinary. Every day is all wrapped with a ribbon on it and I begin them all with anticipation and gratitude.
It’s been a year and a half now since my diagnosis of Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. It came as a surprise and the prognosis was even more of a shock: Six months left to live. You might say that now I have been on borrowed time for a year. I have much to be thankful for, and I am.
I am captivated by the everyday gifts of “another,” that have come my way since diagnosis. Here are some of them:
- Another birthday
- Another Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Another spring, summer, fall, and winter
- Another anniversary
- Another celebration of my children’s birthdays
- Another bike ride
- Another walk
- Another hug
- Another kiss
- Another day at church
- Another prayer meeting
- Another coffee time with friends
- Another car to be bought
- Another case of the flu
- Another pill
- Another Dr. Appointment
- Another scan
- Another card game with Mom and Dad
- Another time reading my Bible
- Another time in prayer
- Another time listening to someone with big dreams
- Another time listening to someone with problems
- Another time encouraging someone in their faith
- Another check to a missionary or gift to someone in need
- Another book to read
- Another book to write
- Another laugh
- Another cry
- Another date with my wife
- Another vacation
- Another Bible story and prayer with the kids
- Another phone call with a loved one
- Another visit with a loved one
- Another bill to pay
- Another computer problem
- Another movie
- Another day
- Another heartbeat
- Another breath from these lungs
The list could go on and on. Everything is a gift, (even the pills) to be thankful for. I was not expected to experience any of these things in the last year, but I drank in every moment. How could I be a man less than constantly grateful?
I am on borrowed time, but then so everyone is. We are all one doctor appointment from a major life change and one doctor appointment away from a major attitude change. Make the most of every opportunity. Life and everything in it is a beautiful gift. Don’t just set it aside until you have time to unwrap it. Tear the paper off today, and behold, your gift of life. Don’t just exist. Live life today, and give thanks.
You can learn more about Dan Erickson, his family, and his ministry at his blog,”Dan’s Pulpit.” Follow “Facing Cancer With Grace,” to read our continuing story.