A year ago I went in for surgery and did not know what the outcome would be. I had tried to prepare myself mentally and physically for the worst but I still remember the loneliness, helplessness and fear that hit me when the time came to be rolled into the operating room. But I also remember so well the nice and gentle male nurse who rolled me in, the wonderfully empathetic and kind team that prepared me for the surgery. I had written about my experience and the days thereafter in my post last year and I remember it all like it was just yesterday.
I went in for surgery a year ago knowing that if the surgeon didn’t get everything out or if the cancer had spread, I would have just about six months to live. A year later, I am very grateful that I have lived double that time. It has been a very challenging year (and continues to be) but looking back, there is so much to be thankful for. I am not only thankful that the surgery went well but also that I could get back on my feet so quickly. I am thankful that I am physically fit enough to do what I love-go for long walks with my puppy, or go jogging every once in a while when I manage to get the time. Since I love to travel, I am thankful for all the trips that I could take, the countries and places that I could visit and re-visit.
What I went through also showed me how important it was that I learn to declutter my life of relationships that are superficial; that I learn to deal with and distance myself from people who get abusive when they realise that I put up boundaries that are healthy for me or when I confront them with something they have done that hurts me; that I learn to silence the voices that demand I behave in a certain way because “society or culture demands it” or simply because they are family relations.
Decluttering my life of the above also meant that I had space, time and the financial means to do things that God had put on my heart for a long, long time. It meant meeting people I hadn’t seen for over 40 years, people who brought great healing through their words, their actions and the way their lives reflected their beliefs.
Distancing myself from relationships that were superficial meant that there was space and time for new friendships that are balm for the soul. It meant making beautiful memories with them that warm my heart and adding lovely colors to my life when I “chat” with them now.
Saying no to the voices that demanded I behave in a way that was acceptable to them meant that I finally listened to one the dreams that God had put in my heart since over 6 years. This in turn led me to renew an old friendship, make a new one and find a beautiful home where I could rest and recover from the challenging year and start the new year refreshed and filled with hope.
Today my heart is filled with gratitude – for the beautiful and the dark moments of the past twelve months; for the warmth, love and support of precious friends (too many to name here individually); for the many sunrises and sunsets I have seen this past year; for the blessings that I have and are too many to count; for this beautiful rainbow of a life that I have been gifted.
And above all I am very grateful that God has given me this extra time here on this earth. My hope is that I can continue to hear His quiet voice above the clamour and noise of voices that often try to drown Him out. The road ahead is not easy and will be rocky at times but my prayer is that I have the courage to walk that narrow road and that I don’t take the “easy way out”; that I have faith He will go with me, never leave me alone and will send me friends who will walk parts of the road with me.