Three men invaded my home last weekend. Brothers, who’ve been more than friends to my husband since before I knew him.
They have their own way of talking. Subjects that they circle and come back to again. They have their own words and inside jokes.
My husband loves them. Each one of them. Being with them breathes life into his heart.
I love them. Because, for more than a decade, I have watched them love my husband. I have seen their loyalty and their care. They are guys, and they don’t always communicate as much, or as regularly, as I would like. But they show up, and they make my husband feel connected and known.
They and a few others helped shape my husband into the man he is today. I have seen the value of choosing good friends during formative years and my husband had that. He was surrounded by guys who were (and are) trustworthy and loyal, guys who laughed and had fun and goofed off, but who also stood firm in their faith and sought wisdom. My husband would not be the same without these friendships and I will always feel grateful for each of them.
It was so sweet to have them here. So bitter sweet.
I couldn’t listen to my husband laughing with these friends without thinking, “Will this be the last time?”
I couldn’t see them playing with my children without thinking, “Will the next time be at a funeral?”
I couldn’t join them in planning another visit for next year without wondering, “Will we make it till then?”
Maybe this seems pessimistic to you, maybe it seems like I’m being ridiculous or jumping the gun. Bryan’s tumors shrunk after our last round of chemo. They are back to being about the size they were 3 months ago. We have bought ourselves some time.
We will start another experimental trial treatment at the beginning of March. Our oncologist said that we still have options – he listed off three things we could try after this trial if it doesn’t work. I know we are not at the end yet. But a year feels like a long time. Statistically, I know it’s a long time.
I try to fight those thoughts, but sometimes I can’t. Sometimes they come more quickly than I can push them away. And honestly, I’m starting to think that maybe they have their value. Despite the bitter undertone these thoughts gave the weekend, they also added an addition of sweet preciousness.
A desire rose in me with each thought, a desire to soak in the whole weekend, to hold on to it, to remember.
I wish I had taken more pictures while they were here, but I was too busy. I was too busy standing back and letting it all wash over me. Soaking it in.
Most of the time this thing called cancer taints my life with a whole lot of fear and anxiety. But sometimes, it paints a precious sweetness across my days. When you truly know your days are numbered you savor them a little more. It’s cliche but it’s true.
“Teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Rejoicing in the journey,