Today begins July. In three days, it will be the anniversary of the last holiday Keith was alive for. In four days, I will send my son to church camp for the first time in his entire life. In six days, it will be the one year mark of Keith's death. In ten days, I will mark my second wedding anniversary without my husband by my side (except the first one was the day after his funeral and I was too numb to really feel anything). In twelve days, my son will be back in the hospital for another procedure. Certainly not his first, but it will be the first one without Keith.
The next two weeks are going to be tough. Today was tough. Tonight the kids and I were invited to share Nick's cancer journey with our friends at the Christian Cancer Support Group that we regularly attended before Keith's death. The kids and I haven't attended since we all began our grief therapy/support. It was bittersweet to be there tonight. In ways, it seemed like we had stepped into the way of life we lived for so many years: treatments, scans, appointments, more treatments, more scans, more appointments. Walking into the CCI building tonight was disconcerting for me. It occurred to me that last year, Keith and I were in CCI on this day hearing the devastating results of the CT scans. I could hear the words being said all over again. I could vividly remember feeling such heartbreak. I half way think if I listened hard enough I would have been able to hear my sobs as the news was delivered.
That certainly wasn't the point of us being there tonight though. I think this happening is God's way of allowing me some closure. As difficult as it was for me to be in that building tonight, surrounded by the echoes of the past, it provided me with an opportunity to give some closure to that part of our lives. I also was able to see Keith's oncologist and speak briefly with him. That was good for me too. He was a major part in Keith's fight against the cancer. If the doctor hadn't been willing to stand and fight with us, I'm not sure how things would have turned out. He never gave up on Keith. He encouraged us. He prayed for us. God granted him the knowledge to be able to give the kids and I time with Keith. That is one of the best gifts that came from Keith's fight with cancer. We got the gift of time.
The kids and I shared about Nick's journey with cancer. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I shouldn't be surprised by that, because I prayed for God to see us through it and give us the words to say. I also asked a few close friends to cover us in prayer during that particular time. I was blessed by sharing our journey with our wonderful friends tonight. When it was all said and done, it felt like going home.
Being among such a strong group of Christians who have continually prayed for us, supported us, and loved us for so many years was truly uplifting. While memories of times past assaulted me, I was so filled with love and compassion for the fighters in that room that the memories didn't hurt so much.
I was blessed tonight. I am honored that we were asked to come and share Nick's story. I believe that tonight did not happen by accident. I likely would not have gone back there under any other circumstances. It is wonderful to be able to see God's hands at work.
I am sad tonight. I miss Keith with a little more intensity tonight. I realize that it stems from being where I was tonight. I can say that I would gladly do it all over again. Out of the pain and sadness tonight, there will be more healing. I know that God is at work.
I know that we are...
In His Grip!