sunshine in the valley
Notice the gap? That’s because I opted not to push through to get something together last week for a post. It was a little bit of a bumpy week – Jeff had a dizzy spell on the 18th, but this time we got him laying down a lot sooner before going to the hospital for his last post-chemo fluid top up. So it has been another week-and-a-bit of making sure things are not being overdone. But even as there are frustrations of varying levels with endurance levels and the like, we are, hopefully, on a continuing upward tick. Because, oh yeah, Jeff finished his last round of chemo!
I don’t think it has fully sunk in yet – at least for me – that he is done. Maybe it’ll more firmly settle in next week when we’re not scheduling drop-offs and pick-ups for him at the hospital. We have a little more waiting until all the ‘all clears’ are looked after: Jeff has a CT scan on December 6th with another round of blood work scheduled for after Christmas, and then a follow-up with his oncologist (who is optimistic all results will be good) on January 2nd unless he suddenly has an earlier opening in his schedule.
So yeah, that’s pretty awesome.
I also made it through a work-related meeting on the 20th of this month I had not been looking forward to – I’m subbing for the usual note-taker of this twice-a-year meeting, and was less stressed than I was for the spring meeting. But all the same, writing notes for almost 4 hours pertaining to things you’re not tremendously familiar with AND THEN having to decipher said notes later is … Well, it is what it is. Thankfully I’m paid to do it! So last Tuesday evening was a perfect time to chill on the couch and watch some Netflix with Jeff. That was followed up on the 22nd by an appointment with my ophthalmologist to find out the cause of the worsening vision in my left eye. Long-ish story short, I have a cataract and as fixing it now would cause other issues with my vision, it will be monitored for the time being.
You guys, I’m not even sad to have a cataract. Seriously! I’d rather not have it to be sure, but I was thinking afterwards about how not-great my vision has been since, oh, birth, and it is an absolute gift to have access to eyeglasses and the like so I can see as well as I do, even out of my never-been-great left eye. I am thankful to have been born into the time and place I have been in these past 45+ years that have given me the gift of sight.
Now in the midst of all these things, I had slipped into my ‘hunker down’ mode. It’s a mode where I gather myself up best I can with the aim of not adding to anyone else’s burdens/workloads, and simply get through what is currently on my plate. And it is not a good mode for me to settle down into, particularly when I get it in my head I shouldn’t be pestering God, either. Silly, right? I mean, I can 100% see it in hindsight. But over the last couple of weeks I knew I was out of sorts and to continue on that path would not be good. I was testier, more easily put out than usual. My words felt hard too often to my ears, to my heart.
But then grace started coming in. And mercy. Over the last couple of weeks, it looked like the unplanned Netflix binge with Jeff. It also looked like getting out a bit for an evening to visit and laugh with some friends, and a wander around a bookstore, and a breakfast out on a snowy morning. It tasted like chicken enchiladas. It sounded like words of wisdom from an ancient story about two sons, neither of who were in good spaces relationally speaking with their dad (or each other, I’m sure). One a prodigal, and the other equally hard-headed in his own ways.
And that’s not even all of it.
Oh, thank God for grace, for mercy – for the reminder (so needed) that with Him the yoke is easy, the burden is light. So I – so you – can have the respite of sunshine in the valleys of life, giving hope for brighter days ahead.