I thought about…
…making this post into several posts but then I realized that I’m a busy girl and trying to decrease the amount of time I spend on the computer so I had better make the most of the post I’m actually posting! Whew….that was a long sentence but you’re all pretty bright so I assume you followed the thought. I haven’t been blogging as much as I did in the past and that is something I want to change, get back to, etc. I am in the process of turning this past year’s blog into a book over at blurb and really realizing what a neat little project this blog has turned out to be.
OK, so let’s start with the Light the Night walk. It’s an event we do every year that means so much to our family. It is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising event. I encourage everyone to attend at least ONE in their lifetime. It’s amazing. As soon as it turns dark everyone embarks on a walk which lasts about 30-45 minutes. Supporters carry red ballons that are lit from the inside with little flashlights illuminating them and survivors carry white ones. It’s amazing to see a sea of red balloons and then a lone white balloon bobbing up and down. It signifies such struggle and yet floats so delicately amongst the red. I love the red balloons just as much; they are the caregivers, the family members, the friends. They are the ones who understand what the disease can do and why it must be fought.
This year’s walk signified five full years of Tim being healthy. FIVE. Praise God that I walk this with a red balloon and not with a gold one. The gold balloons are “In Memory Of” balloons and they make me cry with each one I see. I wonder, “Who was that person?” What did they love? Who did they love? What was their favorite ice cream? What color car did they drive….were they even old enough to drive? Who is the person holding the balloon and how did they manage to overcome their grief? But for the grace of God, that could be me. Yes, the gold balloons make me cry because they represent someone who lost their fight and the very real possibility I faced as a young wife with babies.
This year the organizers did something different. For the first time in our five years walking they honored caregivers. Each one got a single red rose. At the time I thought it was a very sweet gesture; it felt good to be recognized as a big part of the fight against leukemia. It felt good to be reminded that I played in invaluable role in my husband’s well-being during that time. But when I got home I realized it all boiled down to this:
My husband is a survivor. He’s not a fighter anymore. He’s a full-blown, five years down survivor. A SURVIVOR. He is HEALED. He is HERE. He is NOT ‘TERMINAL’ ANYMORE. GOD IS GOOD. God is SO, SO GOOD. After I realized all of this and I took this photo I decided to take another photo, just to document the rose…once it was taken I came to another realization:
One of these things can not exist without the other. You see the harsh, straight lines of the word “survivor?” They’re bold, they’re big, there are hard lines and high contrast…you can’t miss them. They have to be this way. Then there is the rose. It’s soft, it’s fragrant and it’s beautiful. This rose doesn’t have thorns. This rose brings beauty to the photograph. I’d like to say that the rose is me. I’d like to say that I brought beauty to Tim’s leukemia but the fact is, I think I’m on the Survivor portion of this photo. I’m with Tim. We’re the survivors. But the rose, the rose is my Father. My gentle Father who held me when I cried, was steadfast, brought beauty into a world of hospitals and needles, gave me the fragrance of hope when I thought all was lost and was never, ever harsh with me. So the walk was wonderful because it reminds you and it re-softens the places of your heart that over the year may have begun to harden, may have begun to try and forget what you’ve walked, what you’ve seen. But forgetting the bad means forgetting the good. It means forgetting the miracle and the beauty and the messiness of walking a faithful life.
At this point it seems silly to go into fondue night and why this might possibly be the best banana bread ever made:
So pray for me that I will have the time to post on those things…trust me, they’re more entertaining than they sound. But more importantly, take a minute to pray for a fighter today and don’t forget to say “thanks” for Tim’s healing while you’re at it.
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