Remembering That Everyday Is A Gift

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday was warm, yet breezy, and today is cold and mucho breezy.

It’s flat-out windy.

And I remember why I so dislike winter.

I mean, give me a crisp winter day where the air is still and there’s a few inches of nice compact snow.

The sun is shining and the snow glitters back at you as you walk on it, hearing the crunch of your boots on its surface.

It’s cold, sure, but not numbingly so.

It makes for a purty picture.

snowy

That’s a winter that I can handle.

But, today.

Nope.

I don’t want to go outside at all.

But, I did.

And the weird thing about it is this…

egg

There was an egg in the chicken coop.

Nestled in an hen’s box was a gift.

A very surprising gift.

It thought the hens were done laying eggs…forever.

I don’t know who put it there, but I gave a big “Thank You” to the four gals who live in the barn and cluck at us.

It’s the little things that you should get excited about.

Because the little things add up much more quickly than the big things.

Big things happen less often than the little joys that can pop up at any given moment.

Something else happened to me this morning, earlier than the egg moment.

I was reading through my CaringBridge account.

Do you know about CaringBridge?

It’s an online site that allows you to post about a loved one’s health so that others far from you can keep track of their health crisis.  No one uses CaringBridge to just tell people about their blood pressure and diabetes control numbers.  It’s used when someone has cancer or has had a stroke or has been in bad car accident.

You get my drift.

We started a CaringBridge page when Zoe was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.

I don’t post on it anymore.

She’s healthy.

She’s been cured of her disease.

My aunt has a page because her husband is in hospice at home.

He’s had cancer and they are trying to keep him comfortable at home during his final days.

There are a few other pages that I follow, but I don’t regularly read the journal updates that they post.

One page that I follow was created by a woman who went to my high school, but who now lives in the Atlanta, GA area.  Her daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and lost part of her leg.  She’s currently about the same age as Zoe, but was diagnosed with her cancer at an older age.  Zoe was five years old when diagnosed with leukemia.

I haven’t kept up to date on her posts as of late.

But, this morning I decided to read a few entries.

I was already on the site reading what my aunt had recently posted about her husband when I noticed Grace’s page.

It had quite a few updates on it.

So, I took a look…

Her cancer, that was in remission, has come back.

It has spread down her spine.

And it will be another long struggle for a girl who is very athletic, very competitive, and very much loved.

A struggle that she may not win.

The girl’s younger sister asked their mother if they needed to start a Bucket List.

A list of things to do before she dies.

And I crumbled inside.

My heart broke a bit more, a heart that has already been broken by knowing too many sick kids.

My eyes filled with tears, as they are doing right now.

Kids shouldn’t have bucket lists because they may die.

And it made me so scared.

Scared for my own daughter.

Who is healthy and free from disease right now.

But, the “what-ifs” never sit too far back in your brain if you’ve had a kid with cancer.

What if it comes back?

What if another cancer is growing in her right now?

They said that that was possible…she could get another cancer because of the treatments she was given to kill off the original cancer.

It’s terrifying.

She’s not even a teenager yet.

She hasn’t been to New York yet.

She hasn’t kissed a boy yet.

She hasn’t lived yet.

I told Man-Farmer about the girl in Atlanta and his face changed instantly.

It was subtle, but I saw the change.

To a sadness that only a parent who has sat with a child in a hospital because her own body was killing her can have.

We can’t control cancer in our child.

It’s not fair and it’s not something that can be understood.

We can control how we react to it all, though.

We can remember how lucky we are that our daughter is alive.

We can hug her with abandon when she walks in the door after school everyday.

I regularly do this and she accepts my embraces.

Every day.

She accepts my arms around her.

In my hugs that take longer to end than most kids like.

She never shrugs me off.

She drinks in my love, I think.

She’s gone through a lot already in her short life.

And I hope she lives another 80 years.

Just like any mother hopes for her child.

Her children.

Life can be unfair.

Things can change in a day.

And we must cherish the gifts we are given daily.

If it’s as simple as an egg from a chicken.

Or a child walking through the front door after a long day at school.

Every day is a gift.

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