I woke up to snow this morning, wishing that Kevin would neglect to bring a coffee and wake me up to go for our walk. I was tired. I listened carefully for sounds of his feet on the kitchen floor and the shuffling of the coffee maker. Nothing. “Today is Wednesday”, I announced in my head as I tried to recall what was on the agenda for the day. I must confess I was quite happy that today was not Thursday as that is the day my youngest and I deliver papers. I like helping David with his paper route, but, I felt tired this morning.
Whose voice did I hear as I lay in my bed? Ah, yes. Rita – Kevin’s sister. She arrived home from Latvia last night. It was she and Kevin who were talking. Confident there were so many things to get caught up on, I rolled over with confidence that Kevin would decide this morning was not the morning for a walk. I looked at the clock – 6:05 am. It was getting late. Another consolation that I could just stay in bed.
Then – I heard it. The preparation of my coffee. Moments later – feet on the stairs. Since Kevin is 6′ 5″, his gate is quite recognizable on the stairs. I kept my eyes closed. I waited with baited breath. It wasn’t that I was not happy to see him when he set the coffee down behind me, it was the “good-morning, Princess”, that reminded me I was being invited to wake up… and I did NOT want to wake up.
“Good morning, Kevin”, I responded. “Thank-you for my coffee”, I responded out loud. In my head, I sighed. The wheels were set in motion. I got up, without thinking, brushed my teeth and readied myself for the morning.
As usual, I hobbled down the steps two at a time. That damned antibiotic was still wreaking havoc on my tendons and my achilles tendons seemed to always be most uncooperative first thing in the morning. The dog rose to greet me and after a full-body shake, was excited with the prospect of her treat – followed by the walk. “Why can’t we be more like dogs when we wake up?”, I thought. “They are always so cheery.”
I checked the temperature. “Ah – it is zero – wind chill makes it -5!”, I announced to Kevin. No response. He just kept getting ready. I was doomed. There was no getting out of my morning exercise. Parka on. Mitts on. Tuque on. Out the door.
We walked in silence for the first 10 minutes as we shuffled over the lightly dusted side-walk. Jazz leaped and bounded around us as though excited to see the white stuff all around. Walking was so much easier than it had been a year ago when I was suffering the effects of chemo-therapy and steroids. I remembered days when I had to hold Kevin’s arm so that I would not be so winded. I remember having no energy – but a lot of determination. It was tough, I’ll concede to that.
“You know why today is such a great day, Kevin?” I asked him out of the blue.
“I don’t have chemo today.”
“Is this an anniversary of your chemo or something, Stacey?”
“Nope. I am just happy that I don’t have chemo. I am alive.”
And that was that. My mind had changed direction. I was grateful for the day. It was another gift. It took my longer, this morning, to realize the splendor and glory of the morning – but it came. It always comes. Yes. Today is a great day. It is always the day we make of it… and today will be no exception.