Cancer is not new to our family. My wife is a breast cancer survivor, as is her sister, who has been battling Stage 4 cancer for the past four years. My father died of multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, when he was 53. He bestowed on me a lifelong memory of courage, faith and grace. I took him to visit his friends the week before he died. He was too weak to stand. He greeted each with a cheerful smile and his natural good humor, but I could see the sadness written in their faces when they witnessed the seriousness of his condition.
My daughter-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks before Christmas. She and my son still have three children at home, our grandchildren, ages 17, 16 and 15. Life becomes precious when we are faced with our mortality and the mortality of those we love. My son and daughter-in-law are giving it their best, and hoping for the best with chemotherapy and radiation, but they know they are not in control. They are trusting God and celebrating each day.
Knowing that thousands are traveling a similar journey, I wanted to share a couple of her posts on Facebook that have inspired me.
She recently wrote, “Today was a great day. I woke up with no pain and I was able to spend the day with my kids. My husband was able to go to work. I ate more food with no sickness than I’ve had in over a week. I had enough energy to attend a hilarious community play with the beautiful high school drama/English students and laughed until my chest hurt. I stayed up late talking with my best friend about how blessed we are and how God answers prayers in ways we don’t even realize. My children laughed and teased each other in ways that made us feel normal. And I still have my hair. Today was a great day!”
A few days later she wrote, “As I mourn the loss of my hair, an outward symbol of my health and femininity, I am reminded of my true identity in Christ” Psalm 139:125. “You are more than beautiful. You are more than enough. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I am proud of my daughter-in-law, and I am grateful to be surrounded by men and women who inspire me. Every day in thousands of homes, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters fight quiet and little-known battles of life and love.
Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow“ (Matthew 6:25-34).