“With long life I will satisfy him.” Psalm 91:16
December 8, 2011 - ‘Tis the season to be thankful to be alive, and that is exactly how I feel. I have been practicing my Christmas songs on the piano and Al can tell I’m getting better. I have 4 Christmas events planned with good friends (2 parties, a concert and a dinner theater), and I am actually looking forward to putting up a Christmas tree. This December will be a chance to party. Both my daughter and son-in-law have birthdays this month, they have their first wedding anniversary (has it been a year already?), and of course, there is Christmas. My sister is coming from Orlando to spend it with us.
The weather is cooling off and the Mexican petunias have fewer blooms but they stay on the branches all day now. I have a succulent cactus-like plant that is called an alligator plant because its cactus petals look like alligator jaws. For the first time, it has bloomed! I never knew they bloomed. I have included a picture of it with this blog post. It has grown higher than the 6 foot fence, which is also unusual. It’s a prime example of growth and rebirth, which is just what God is doing with me. My spiritual life is growing as my faith, belief, and knowledge of God’s truth grows. I love to read God’s word, the Bible, and He is teaching me new truths as I read. I am reading the Torah in the Old Testament and the epistles in the New Testament. My body is being reborn as the cancer leaves it.
I also put a picture of the coleus plant blooming. They all bloomed in the spring when Al and I first put them out in the garden in containers. I guess that was a sign that this was going to be springtime of spiritual growth and physical rebirth because Colei were blooming all over the city, and look where I am now – almost cancer-free and my upper left lung is processing air again! My elephant ear plant continues to bloom, too, but it only has one bloom at a time. When that bloom withers and falls off, another one blooms. It is God’s way of telling me that He will always be with me. Even when it looks like He disappears, he shows up again. I love this picture of the large elephant ear leaf with the early morning dewdrops on it. God has figured out a way for it to retain its badly-needed moisture. He does the same with me and His Rivers of Living Water. The fourth picture shows the red bougainvillea in the foreground with the fuchsia bougainvillea in the background. I like to think that this stands for the saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” The red bougainvillea blooms in the foreground stand for Jesus, and the fuchsia bougainvillea blooms in the background stand for the Christmas season. My sisters and I don’t exchange gifts anymore. At our age we don’t need any more material things and I have no room to put more knickknacks in my house anyway. We are like the end of the story The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. We just need a place to sit and rest. We prefer to spend the time with each other on the phone or in person, letting each other know how much they are loved in the Yuletide season.
When I first started this chemotherapy drug in May, the nurse told me, “It is not a cure but it can prolong life.” I went home, sat in my garden, turned my eyes upward to the Heavens and said, “What do you think, God? 20 more years? at least?” Well, that meets mine, God’s and the nurse’s definition of long life! When I told this story at church during our weekly healing service, my minister summed up my feelings exactly. He said, “Just tell them you have attention deficit disorder and all you heard was ‘long life’”.