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Chapter 10

Next Steps

“Time and tide wait for no man.” wrote Geoffrey Chaucer. Time and tide; the clock ticks regardless of any individual schedule, and the oceans move about at their bidding. It has been two and a half years since my husband Richard went home to be with The LORD. Whether an open bleeding flesh wound or a broken heart, while time does have a way of bringing healing to both, trauma leaves behind its scars. With this obvious truth in mind, I am making a deliberate decision to “turn the page” in the book of life to see what God has written for me. Although physically, I go alone now, the journey will still be sweet and remain enriched by the love I have been blessed to have experienced with Richard. Everything about who I am today has been influenced by our relationship of fifty years. My prayer is to honor both Richard’s memory and my God Who continues to lead me until my time on earth is complete.

With these things in mind and the turning of the page, my focus will still be on the Treasures of Darkness, but more in the way treasures are always present. We tend to see them more clearly in the brighter days. Fortunately, most of us live with a mixture of light and dark days. Being able to find God’s treasures in both atmospheres is a little like walking the beach with a metal detector. We can’t always see the treasure, but with God’s help, we can know where to look and trust that it’s there whether visible or not!

Although Alzheimer’s Disease, to my knowledge, is no longer lurking in my midst, another enemy has raised its’ ugly head and has threatened to take its’ place. This past September one late afternoon, I got a call from my daughter who asked if she could come by for a visit. The request was not unusual as my granddaughter had swim team practice in a facility not far from my home. Upon her arrival, and after the usual hugs and small talk, we sat down on the porch for what I thought would be a light conversation and update on how the kids were adjusting to the new school year. Instead, through tearful eyes, I could hear the fear my daughter was experiencing in her mind and heart as she shared that she was awaiting results of tests for a lump found in her breast.

Stunned does not do justice to what I felt upon hearing the sound of her words. It was like when sustaining a physical blow, at first, you feel nothing, then, by the time the message reaches the part of the brain where it gets registered the fullness of reality begins to sink in. My mother’s heart kicked into full gear! We cried together all the while telling each other everything we could think of that might put a positive spin on the news. Perhaps the biopsy would come back negative, and this would be a non-issue. But, this was not to be the case. Early the following morning, her doctor called to say the test results confirmed it was cancer. Her call to me that morning was, again, tearful for both of us. Telling her young children would be the next step for my daughter and her husband. It would prove to be one of the hardest tasks on the journey.

My daughter is now making her way through the necessary steps for expecting complete healing. I will leave her story here as the rest is exactly that, “her story.” However, at times, I may make reference to her journey through cancer in as much as it affects my life. As with Alzheimer’s, cancer or any other life-altering disease, has an effect that is widespread, touching lives beyond that of the victim. Family and friends certainly walk as closely as possible with their loved one but our powers are limited.

I considered my use of the term “victim” and thought perhaps it may seem like an exaggeration but have decided it is not. According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of victim is “one that is tricked or duped.” Contracting a disease is not something anyone thinks will happen to them. Living with an optimistic attitude is not only natural but desirable. Even after the onslaught of sickness, remaining optimistic is helpful in so many ways but especially in the healing process.

In the case of my daughter, the “treasure” of darkness which is the title of this blog, has been watching her incredible courage and strength. She is an inspiration to so many. She is an inspiration to me! I pray for her continued fighting spirit, trust and reliance on God to see her through to the finish line. He absolutely will and is with her every step of the way. She will emerge victoriously. Of this, I have no doubt!

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