Carey and I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by the best of the best at Duke.  Everyone from the nurses, to the radiation techs, to the PA’s and oncologists are nothing short of amazing.  We’ve also been blessed to have the opportunity to meet regularly with a therapist at the Cancer Center.  He’s been an invaluable resource.  We were talking with him recently about the process of mourning.  Even though no one has died (thankfully), we are mourning the loss of a life we knew and loved very much.  A life of “normalcy” where Carey came home in his ABU’s every week day at 5pm, we ate dinner and talked about the day, then Eli and Daddy tumbled around on the floor wrestling and laughing.  We possessed health and comfort – both of which we felt we had earned, possibly even felt entitled to.  Now we understand these things are gifts.  That life we knew was snatched away in an instant.  One phone call, as they say, is all it takes. 

It’s tempting to dwell on the hurt and the devastation - to settle in and bury yourself under pity.  But that’s simply not a fun place to be.  It’s miserable.  So when I find myself heading down those dark roads the fastest way to do an about face is think about how these circumstances have blessed us.  And it never ceases to amaze me how many things I’m able to list:         

This cancer has taught me how to live in the here and now.  It’s a skill that’s much easier said than done for me, and I still need frequent reminders.  But it’s refreshing to truly enjoy the present. 

We’ve discovered new relationships, and experienced true friendship at it’s finest. 

We’ve felt the power of prayer.  God’s hand has been strong and noticeable in our lives and it’s exciting to witness.  It also helps strengthen our faith, which is another invaluable gift. 

God has been teaching me so much about perspective, selfless love, trust, and truth – I’m thankful to have a deeper understanding of these things. 

I’m thankful that my marriage is stronger than ever. 

I am thankful for the day when I can sit down with other wives and mothers who are struggling down this road, and be able to quietly empathize with them during the toughest times. 

And in the spirit of thankfulness – thank YOU!  Thank you for all of the prayers and support.  For every gift that you kindly take the time to send and every note you lovingly take the time to write.  Thank you to everyone who has sacrificed for our family and gone out of your way to be here for us.  It means the world.  I owe many thank you notes and I promise they are coming. 

Thank you also to everyone who was able to make it to Carey’s retirement.  It was such a special day for us, and we are so grateful for the amazing ceremony and reception that was held.  The mighty 1-8 has helped us every step of the way.  Our military family has been incredible.  We love you guys! 

So we walk into cycle eight armed with thankfulness and hope.  We know what to expect and how to navigate the stormy waters - at least we think we do =)

And on a final note… Go Sparty

Enjoying our first taste of spring here in NC!!