If you were given 5 years…
If you were given a gift of 5 years, 5 years you thought you didn’t have, what would you do? How would you spend them? Would you do the things you always wished you could do but for whatever reason you haven’t? Would you make sure that the people you love know you love them? Would you buy the extra good foods, go on great adventures? Would you run yourself ragged trying to make every minute of every day meaningful?
Daleen decided that she would be grateful for each day and would use every day by embracing something that would help her on her journey. She decided to learn everything about healing cancer naturally. She’s become an expert at clean living and is a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge on the subject. She was determined to travel even though it tired her out so much. After all, there’s a big world out there waiting to be discovered by each of us. And so, we’ve been to virtually the four corners of these great United States and many places in between. She dedicated herself to her handiwork and has produced one beautiful piece after another.
We haven’t done it alone though and so we are grateful we have a supportive family and some supportive friends. Though they don’t all agree we chose wisely, they all have been squarely behind Daleen – who could ask for more? From phone calls to emails to wee gifts in the mail, everyone has been a positive part of her wellness.
Sweet Liberty, a Golden Retriever of distinction, has done her share. She’s made sure there was dog hair to pick up, meals for Daleen to prepare for her and toys to pick up. She’s also caught more than a few tears in her luxurious golden coat and offers nothing in return but love. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; were that humans could be so unabashedly loving and accepting as dogs.
In that bleak January 5 years ago, she would ask me “do you think I’ll be around at Christmas?” and then slowly the question became “do you think I’ll be around to see (fill in the blank)? There was always the nagging thought that no matter what she did, it wouldn’t make a difference. She would eat healthily, exercise, get a lot of sunshine, take vitamins and everything wouldn’t matter.
At some point, she quit asking. She accepted the fact that she was living, she was living well and that was enough. Next, she started planning ahead – a huge change! Finally, questioning her life stopped being the predominant thought of her every waking moment. In short, she learned how to live again and live she has; this Sunday is 1,826 days of wellness.
That dear friend is what cancer does to you. It robs you of the luxury of not thinking about death. Sure, there are many other things it does, but the pervasive, all-encompassing thoughts revolve around death for longer than we thought possible. To be honest, they are never that far away and it’s a constant struggle to keep them where they belong – in the distance. What cancer can also do is tie you even closer together. We’d been married for a while when the dreaded diagnosis was given and I thought I knew my blushing bride of 30 years. Turns out, I only knew part of her. I have now come to know the amazing strength that is her, and of course, I see more clearly the quiet beauty and the grace that is her. Along the way, she’s taught me more about living and life than I thought possible and I’m ever so grateful.
We have a few posters and sayings in our home about gratitude and grace. Ok, a first-time visitor to our home might say many. They serve as continual reminders. She is grateful because she was given these last five years when she was convinced she wouldn’t have them. She is grateful for so many things and so many people I could fill many pages listing them all. She has the quiet grace that goes with confidence and the inner grace that radiates outward. When you are with her, you know you are with someone who understands the value of each and every day. She’s confident that although the future is (and always has been) uncertain, she’s been blessed with these last five years and has tried to embrace each and every day as the gift it is.
Along the way, we’ve learned so much about living well. We recognize all the positives in our life, and there are so very many, and we’re eliminating the negatives. We used to struggle over this, now we’ve learned to simply accept it.
I started this writing by asking you what you would do with a gift of time. Dear friends, you have the gift of time, and more time after that and so on. That time is yours to do with as you please. What will you do with your time? We hope you make the most of it, that you embrace your time and use it wisely. In short, we hope you live!
Wishing you health and wellness.