An anniversary, not so welcome

felled by the newsIt’s amazing what can happen in a year … the good, the bad, the ugly. I witnessed it all. And survived, quite unharmed, gratefully. But today I had some sad news that has tied me in knots and was a huge factor in my returning from Guatemala a year ago, to the day. How strange that this news comes to me on the anniversary of hearing about my stepfather’s prostate cancer.

I spoke with my Mother this morning, after several weeks of telephone tag. My excuses for calls that should have been made (but were put off because of a busy lifestyle) were feeble and silent, upon hearing Mom’s news. Pat’s cancer had returned, renewed and invigorated, spreading to his bladder. The clock stopped, my heart beat loudly and I was taken back to a year ago, when fear struck home, oceans apart from my family. Here I am again, thousands of miles away, and a similar chord has been plucked: same ‘ole song, different tune. To top it all off, his heart’s irregularities amplify the seriousness of reality’s bite.

Radiation is the next step for my wonderful stepfather. Thank God Mom and Pat have each other. I’d be falling apart if it were me. They’ve gone through so many health issues and scares over the past few years. I’m thankful that we’ll have a little time together when we return home next month.

Time is so precious when it comes to family. When the clock ticks slowly by and you can hear the beat of its drum, everything else seems to fall away. Nothing is more important than family, especially when crises befalls those around us. The harsh reality of life: the only guarantees that one has is this very moment and breath. And that can disappear in a heartbeat.

Why is it so easy to forget and take for granted the time which sails by with each passing day and season change? So frail is the heart which grows silent and weary with the sadness of the unknown. Embracing each moment with our loved ones is a precious gift easily and often set aside, hoping for a better tomorrow, which may not even come.

Please keep my dear stepfather in your prayers for me. I thank you for this ….

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