Friday, May 13, 2016

43 and 20

This is an eventful week for our family as our youngest daughter had her 16th birthday, we celebrate Mother's Day, and my wife had her 43rd birthday. We make a big deal out of all of them as they each hold their own special value to our family. It's not always easy to keep celebrations from spilling over onto each day, but this year there is enough separation that it hasn't been an issue. This year is especially significant for my wife as we are also celebrating an "anniversary" as we mark 20 years of her being cancer free.

We were just a young, freshly-married couple when we discovered she had cancer. Neither one of us knew what to think, but we were both scared of what might happen and what our future was going to look like. Even her physicians were unsure of how effective their treatment plan was going to be. I remember holding her hand while walking one day and telling her, "I'm not ready to lose you." We didn't know then the difficulties she was going to endure or how we were going to make our way through them. We just knew we had to keep moving forward and hoping we would be given another day to share together.

My wife's trial of cancer is what makes the rest of her celebrations so sweet. It's because of her 20 year "cancerversary" that we are able to celebrate her 43rd birthday. Each year that passes is another gift together when we weren't sure there would be many more to share. Her disease and treatment changed both of us during the trial and continue to have an impact as we grow older together. It's a very powerful reminder of the value of each day we've been given.

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