THAT WHICH IS IMPORTANT
The longer you live, the more anniversaries there are to celebrate. Some are what we would consider simple, others more complex. A birthday is an anniversary of sorts, we remember the day we took our first breath. The day we started a new job, graduated school, or met someone significant for the first time. Wedding days carry all kinds of anniversary significance, especially if you forget to mark the day in a special way. The day we lost someone whom we cared deeply for can become an anniversary that carries a mixture of pain and joy. Pain as we are focused on our loss, joy as we remember the blessing of having known and walked with them. We tend to make significant those things which are important to us.
THE ANNIVERSARY CONTINUUM
Some of us are better at remembering anniversaries than others. There are those for whom every life event becomes an opportunity to remember and celebrate something. Others leave the celebrations and remembrances for truly monumental events.
I am not exactly sure where I fall on the continuum of celebrating anniversaries. I think I do a pretty good job of remembering and drawing attention to most of the “big ones.” Nancy and I have marked the anniversary of our marriage every year. FACEBOOK has helped me do a better job of recognizing the birthdays of those I care for. If you are not my FACEBOOK friend you might be out of luck.
There are other anniversaries I am horrible with, I know it, own it and apologize.
Quite often we find triggers that help us remember certain significant anniversaries in our lives. For my family one such trigger happens to be the Kennett High School prom.
The other night Rayann looked at me and said, “Dad, Kennett is having their prom this weekend.” At first blush that might seem a random piece of information. Rayann is a sophomore in college and I have absolutely no interest in anything prom related.
When Rayann shared that nugget of information we just smiled at each other. The Kennett prom has become a trigger to remind us of a significant anniversary in our family. It was prom weekend of 2016 that we began this journey with stage 4 colon cancer. Even though I could not get a full breath of air I refused to go to the doctor until Rayann was home from prom. I did not want to be the dad who “ruined prom.”
You can find the complete story of that crazy weekend in May 2016 here.
Anniversaries provide us an opportunity for reflection. All week I have been doing a lot of reflecting on where we have been and where we are going. I am reminded of my oncologist’s initial prognosis of “no more than two years” and the reality that I am writing this at year three! Thinking over the past years I am humbled by how Abba has met me in the midst of chaos and stilled my spirit, strengthened me, and deepened my faith.
Looking forward things are uncertain. Not anymore uncertain than they were on that initial day that has become my anniversary. All of life is uncertain. I am thankful that in the midst of uncertainty I have grown to be confident that Abba is faithful and that I can cling to the words of the psalmist.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23: 4, 6
God is Good All the Time…All the Time God is Good
“The Journey Continues” is my story of learning to fight and then live with stage IV colon cancer. I share openly and honestly how the words spoken by a stranger totally changed life as I knew it, and how Abba Father met me in the midst of the journey. Nancy, my wife, joins me in writing. She shares with great vulnerability of how my cancer challenged her in every area of life.