This morning, I forgot to thank You for this day
I got up, got my family off to work and school and then proceeded to walk the dog. It was a glorious morning. It was crisp, a little windy, and the sun was just beginning to warm the pond where the ducks played. The water levels were a bit low and I noted there was a distinct absence of duckweed. I wondered if the ducks would be leaving soon to find another location to feed? Jazz, our retriever, was so excited during her walk. The coolness seems to give her more pep as she is not weighed down by the suppressive humidity. She bounded down the boardwalk happily – only to be started by the sudden flapping of duck wings. One particular duck had found food in the thick of the bullrushes. Neither the dog nor the duck had expected one another and that surprise encounter ended in a quick departure of both of them.
I still had some energy when Jazz and I returned home and so I quickly prepared to mount the treadmill I had moved into the bedroom. This treadmill had originally been set up in the basement – prior to my mother-in-law moving in. I had used it faithfully every morning from 6 am until 6:45 am and had recorded my statistics: time, distance, calories burned. I remember struggling with the pain in my shoulder which developed one morning. I thought I had maybe just slept on it wrong. I ignored it and tried to walk through it. Afterall, it was only shoulder pain – or so I thought.
Onto the mill I went. What programs might I watch while walking? It was so much nicer to have the distractions of the great outdoors when walking and the time seems to pass much more quickly. I was quite delighted to find my favorite chef, Michael Smith. “Chef at Home” was on. “Dinner”, I thought. Sure enough, he was making stew. Funny how all the tips he gave were things my mother did – without lessons. I guess she learned from her Mom – who “knew” that meat browns better when it is dry first. “That’s why she always dried the turkey before putting it in the oven.”
I had no shoulder pain. I felt my muscles from the day before, but what I noted was that I had no shoulder pain. What I came to learn a year ago, was that that same shoulder pain was radiated pain from cancer that was spreading on my ovaries, uterus, and other internal organs. “You can’t feel the cancer growing on your organs, Stacey”, my chemo-therapist had explained to me. “That’s why ovarian is known as the silent killer. By the time you feel something, the cancer has spread very far.” So, on the treadmill this morning, having no shoulder pain was good. In fact, I felt well. Other than the fact that I had a slight cold, I felt great! The breeze blew in from the window behind me to keep me cool and Chef Michael Smith was showing me what I ought to cook for dinner tonight.
One hour later, I stopped. I began recording my data once again thinking that eventually I may just fill up the pages of this little journal I began. I liked it when the pages were full of my previous recorded activity. It gave much such a visual sense of accomplishment. I tucked the treadmill away and gathered my laundry to take downstairs after my shower.
The water felt good on my aching muscles. The one continual nagging hang-over from my cancer days was the swelling I got in my tendons as a result of an antibiotic I had taken. And this day, my achilles tendons were quite swollen. It had been my knees yesterday. But this – was a small price to pay for my life. The water calmed and soothed me – it washed any evidence of my workout down the drain. “I must get that laundry going and hem David’s pants.” I thought.
And then it hit me; I had forgotten to thank Him for this day. I thank God for this day every morning. How was it that I forgotten to do that this morning? When a problem is solved, it is no longer an issue. The Syrian refugees will no longer have to flee when the war stops in their country. Woman will no longer have to fight for equal pay when it is granted. Environmental activists will lay down their signs when environmental rights are respected. I had forgotten to be thankful for the day because I was no longer thinking my days were numbered. It had been a ‘normal’ morning for me. It had been such a long time that I had had a “normal” morning. The only thing that was different about it was that I did not rush off to work.
A normal morning. It is the anniversary of the day I began this blog – and it had been a normal morning. There were no celebrations, no congratulations, no hoopla, no feast. There were no bells, no whistles, no noisemakers, no fireworks. No one congratulated me, no one hugged me, no one phoned me, no one “noted” this day. And that may have been the best gift of all; my day began like a normal day.
A normal day is what I had only dreamed of this time last year. I had not expected to see the spring, let alone the summer, let alone another fall. Yet, here I am. I am busy thinking about the small trivia of life’s tasks. I worry about what’s for dinner. I worry about getting to see David’s tryouts on time. I worry that I didn’t agree to go for a bike-ride with Kevin last night. I worry about Katya’s school and I worry that Ben is eating well. I worry that Grandma is keeping busy, that we have enough milk in the fridge and that I have time to put the kayaks in the garage. How delightful!!!! No where in that entire abbreviated list of worries is the worry about living! Not today!
Thank God today is a normal day!