I was just doing some cleaning around the house. I opened my front curtains and caught a glimpse of my next door neighbor. While I know it isn't polite to stare, I just couldn't keep my eyes off him. He was diagnosed with Stage IV throat cancer in March of this year, (almost the same exact time, my dad was diagnosed). My neighbor was fortunate, in some respect, that they were able to offer him some very experimental and aggressive treatment, and prolong his life. While these past 6 months have been very hard on him, he at least has a little more time with his family. He has a wife and 13 and 11 year-old boys. I know I'm going around the point here, but just wanted to bring you all up to speed.
While openly gaping at him out my front window, I couldn't help but think that he truly looks like a dead man walking, and that brought me to my current state of sappiness. It made me feel grateful...
Grateful that....I have 2 little boys (well 1 "little" boy, and one, not so "little" boy), running around. Grateful that I have good friends and a family that would be there for me and stand beside me, no matter what might come my way. Grateful that I have a good hearted man, that can show me how much he loves me, just by looking in my eyes. Grateful that I have running water and electricity. Grateful that I have a house to clean, a lawn to mow, and all of the things that could be considered just "average", or nothing special. To me, they are all of the things that shape my life, and I'm happy with that!!
You see, I don't currently have a relative with cancer to take care of, or to worry about, but I've been there before and know how it feels to have someone you love fight to make it through each passing day. I don't usually think of each day as potentially being my last. Even though I know that anything can happen, you just never know. It's still not something I think about on a daily basis. I wonder what it feels like to be in his shoes...to be faced with something that it's just impossible for you to conquer...to be living on borrowed time...to see your kids walk out the door for school each morning, and wonder if it will be the last time you ever see them again, because you may be gone by the time they get back. I know this is a time to "catch up" and let feelings be known, I watched my dad do this. It's a time to get in every last thing that you want to before it's too late and there are regrets, when your time has come. It's a time of fear, and pain, and I'm sure, many many prayers. I wish him well in his battle, and will definitely have him in my prayers.
On that note, I'm going to give my kids a little hug and to tell them that I love 'em.