Monday, July 11, 2016

This weekend, I celebrated 2 years of being in remission. All day long I couldn't stop thinking about how blessed I was to be celebrating another year of life. I was hesitant to celebrate because I'd just had a complete body bone scan done the day before and I had no idea what the results of that test were, but I wanted to move forward and celebrate anyway. The day started out normally with routine Saturday housework. About mid morning, I received a nice surprise from my Texas girl. She'd sent a lovely arrangement of blue delphinium and white roses. She's so thoughtful and her arrangement really set the tone for the day. The blue and white flowers were so peaceful and serene, just the way I needed my day to be. 

Flowers from my girl
Early afternoon brought the arrival of my youngest daughter. She'd come to spend the weekend with us and help me celebrate. She's always so full of energy and we had fun catching up on her week and the latest information on her current relationship. 

As the day wore on, I took time to look back through my cancer notebook. When I was initially diagnosed, the hospital gave me a nice heavyweight vinyl binder with the words "Love Me...Love My Journey" printed on it. Inside were various dividers for medical bills and expenses, test results, medications, etc. I never thought I'd fill up that notebook, but after 2 years it's overflowing. I've tried to be diligent about recording every doctor visit, every lab test, every medication, every expense, and notes to help my children know what cancer felt like from day one. As I read back through my notes and recounted each event, I couldn't help but marvel at all I'd experienced. The past 2 years had been extremely difficult but I'd managed to make it through. I was proud of that accomplishment. 
The table set and ready
We began our celebration of my 2nd cancerversary with a family dinner at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. Although only 2 of my children were able to be present, I was thankful they'd taken time out of their busy schedules to come be with me. My granddaughter, Heather, was such a joy to watch as she tried her best to master chopsticks. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner and ate to our heart's content. We left the restaurant with barely enough room for the dessert I had waiting at home. Earlier in the week, I'd stopped by a local bakery, Smallcakes,and ordered a special treat. They make the most decadent Key Lime cupcakes. 

Yummy Key Lime cupcakes
Back at the house, we entered my formal dining room. As soon as we walked in, Heather exclaimed, "HAPPY DAY!!! HAPPY DAY!!!" She's just a little shy of being 3 years old and can't quite say Happy Birthday but she knows what balloons and festive decorations mean...something good is about to happen. We couldn't help but laugh at her sweet, childlike expression of joy. It was indeed a happy day. With my family gathered around, I thanked them for standing by me for the past 2 years. As I began speaking, I was overcome with emotion and had to fight back tears to complete my expression of gratitude to them. The tears came in torrents as each one of them blessed me with their gifts of love. My daughter, Jamie, had written a sweet prayer and had it placed in the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. My daughter, Laura, had made a photo slideshow on DVD chronicling my journey. I was touched at their thoughtfulness. 

I am blessed to be so loved. My heart overflows with gratitude at all I've been given. Yes, I've suffered physical difficulties these past few years but the love of my family has made them much easier to bear. And now I start on this new year of life. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me in the days ahead. And Heather was right, it was truly a HAPPY DAY!

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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