As I sat on my porch this Easter morning, wrapped in the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the day, I said a prayer of thanksgiving.
I thanked the Lord for the beauty that surrounds me, for the joyful sounds of the birds singing their melodious tribute to the day. I thanked Him for the wonderful flowers blooming, their resplendent array of color assuring the cycle of life and the resurgence of spring.
Most of my thankfulness was given to Him for the struggles that George and I have shared these long, hard months. Now, that may seem odd to be thankful for, but these times have brought about such an awakening in us. Something I am not sure we'd have ever been privileged to experience otherwise.
The days have been so very hard. At times the darkness seemed to encompass my soul. The fear, the pain, the unknown, all seemed to overwhelm me, wrap me in a dense fabric of despair from which I sometimes felt there was no escape.
But through it all I was learning. Humility, forgiveness, caring, strength, wisdom. All these things I thought I was already on board with took on new meaning.
I thought my heart was as open to my husband as it ever could be, but facing the fear of losing him and becoming his caregiver has expanded that love more than I could ever, ever have hoped for.
God - in His infinite wisdom - placed challenges in my path that allowed me to see George for the truly precious gift He gave me.
Oh, don't get me wrong - there were times when I could have willfully choked "The Commander" (as his friends and co-workers call him) for his actions and non-actions. There is nothing worse than trying to convince a hard-headed German male that something is good for him when he's already made up his mind against it.
We've faced so much together, entwining the fabric of our beings,strengthening the ties that have made us one and holding fast to the belief that we would get through this together. We are genuinely thankful for this special power we have been given.
It has allowed us both to overcome so much.
Yesterday, that special power, that faith, and that love was rewarded with the best of possible results. George's PET scan was clear - he is cancer free!
So, while the world - and I - celebrate the resurrection, the renewal and the hope, George and I are also celebrating Thanksgiving.
I think I'll have some Turkey with my Ham and green beans today :-)!