Friday, September 10, 2010

The value of just one more day


{an e-mail sent to my support group this day}

Hello Everyone,

What a wonderful time I had at our monthly meeting the other night. Thank you all for the warm hugs and hardy handshakes. The smiles and questions of concern.

I have a story to relate:

This morning my oldest granddaughter came running into the house tears flowing and words struggling to be released from her mouth. Her usual smile and happy nature had been offset by something terrible.

Of course, the first thing I did was hold open wide my arms and bend down to hold her as safely and as warmly as I could deliver. Her beautiful red curls were all in dishevel madness' and her normally radiant face was ashen of some miserable, unbearable condition no one could ever, ever make better.

'Honey; what in the world is wrong?' is all I could manage to offer after the holding and gentle swaying back and forth of her little frame was at an end. As I held her away and attempted eye contact, 'It will be OK; I promise you.' was given as an enticement for information on what was the cause.

Stuttering from an over abundance of emotion and blocked by a fit of coughs , 'I.... Grandpa... I.. love you so.....much', came out of her mouth but was not to abate her tears.

After another application of the hugs and reinforcements that only a grandpa can provide to a tender granddaughter, I finally got her to calm down, breathe and tell me what the cause of the torment that had come into her life was.

Mustering courage and strength from way deep inside, she began 'It was so important to me; it was the most important thing you had ever given me. Grand pa, the book of stories you gave me, the wonderful tales of princesses and baby deer and little wooden boys ate by the whale; that one' I could see the tears forming and the breathing becoming lost to the sorrow in her mind; ' I lost....I lost it....I'm so sorry, it must have cost a million dollars Grand pa; I lost the book' followed by an open spigot of tears and sobs.

Relief finally in my mind, it was a lost book and nothing of what could have been which had been bombarding my mind. I fought the urge to laugh at the release of my own emotions of the what if variety, but caught myself to not offer a disparaging adults view of what constituted the end of the world to such a beautiful child. I applied one more hug and finally managed to get my old bone into such a position that I could take a seat on the floor and meet her gaze on an equal plane.

'Oh sweet heart, trust me, it will be OK. We can always get another one for you.'

'But grand pa, mom has told me it was worth a be jillion dollars and I was to never let harm come to it. She's going to kill me.'

Then she asked a question which gave me pause and forced me to give an honest accounting. Fighting back tears and rapid breaths, 'Have you had something you owned and thought it couldn't be replaced if you lost it?'

Holding her back from me at arms length and giving myself a few seconds of time I offered her the most honest answer I could; 'Yes, yes I have and I know exactly how you feel.' To which she gave me a look of anticipation and an oblivious desire for me to continue and tell her what it was.

'Sweetheart, you know how grand pa is sick right? and how I always have to have the Doctors do test on him?'


'Well, just this morning I got the results of my latest test.'

'How can that be the most important thing in the world to you grand pa? You have test all the time'

'I know I do baby, but just this morning, the doctors called and told me the results of my latest test. The cancer I have, you know, what makes grand pa sick sometimes?, the cancer, well, there is no sign of it anymore.'

I could tell by the squinted eye brows and look of questions not yet formed fully, she asked 'why is that worth a be jillion dollars?'

I smiled and held her tight and now found that I had to force back my tears and my loss of breath.

'Because my dear; it means that I get to spend more days with you, more time to watch you grow and I get the joy and happiness of just being with you.'

This time, we both held each other and then laughed with each other as only grand pa's and granddaughters can. Somehow, the lost book was forgotten and the death penalty sure to be imposed by mom had been pardoned.

No, this didn't occur anywhere other than in my mind. Well, except the call I did receive this morning and I now wish to share. I had the Pet Scan and guess what? My lungs, my throat, my whole body is clear. Oh thank God, once again; at least for right now, for a little bit of time, I am cancer free. I have yet a few more days to watch my grand children grow. I hope you pardon my little made up want and desire to be with my granddaughter. It was an honest desire of my mind expressed to you as the best way to convey my happiness and for me to make something so insignificant given the horrors in the world today, a matter of enjoyment for you to ponder.

Never take one moment for granted and never ever underestimate the value of a be jillion dollars to a little curly haired girl who now owns my heart.

I hope my good news finds you all well, whole and with good news as well. I am blessed and never think for one second, I don't know it.

Be strong my friends, as Cancer truly Sucks....


Sarah said...

I have no words to express my feelings right now! I only wish I could hold you and my kids in the biggest embrace this world has ever seen! I am so very proud of you, you have no idea how proud I am to call you dad!

Sarah said...

I'm just a Facebook friend of Sarah's but she shared your post with us and I just felt that I had to tell you how happy I am for you and your family at the wonderful news you had today. I found your post moving and inspiring. Thank you (and Sarah!) for sharing it with us and good luck for the future.
Sarah Bowman

Deb said...

Sarah shared this on facebook with her friends there and am so happy she did. I have to admit, that reading this story caused another tear to be shed. My own. What a great story and praise the powers that be that you have more time to solve the help solve the crisises, wipe away the tears and console a certain little curly red haired girl!!

Anonymous said...

I just lost my brother in law last night after an 18 year battle with various types of cancer,he was to celebrate his 50 th wedding anniversary this Nov.Your story has made me appreciate all the more the bravery and courage that Walter has showed us all these past 18 years.Thank You and God Bless you and yours Always.I will try to dwell more on what Walter gave us not of what we lost.

Thufer said...

Thank you all, each one. Good thoughts and prayers are most important. Each day is a battle and without God and support of family and friends, it is impossible.
I am happy to know that is some way my journey has not been in vain.
Thank you all so very much.

Donna said...

Thanks Sarah & her dad for sharing this. lately I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself. I have a medical condition that has kept me in pain every moment of my adult life. I have also sacrificed my own need to have a family of my own in order to care for various older family members that are mostly now gone. I always thought there was no rush to find love & plenty of time for kids but now my clock is ticking out fast & it seems like an impossible task. Don't get me wrong, I will never regret quitting my job to help mom fight her breast cancer. 3 yrs cancer free & counting. I just have to remind myself that each day is a gift & not to waste it no matter how much pain & fatigue I feel. I have to actively go after my dream. So if anyone know a great single guy around 40 send him my way please. & congradulations Sarah's DAD!!

Pam Dean said...

What a beautiful tribute. One filled with bravery and love of God and family. Thank you so much for sharing. Prayers and healing angels are coming your way. Cancer does suck... but it doesnt always have to win.

Anonymous said...

Sir Thank you so much for this story , yes i agree cancer does suck , it plays on your mind , your thoughts and your emotions, thank you for your story, i am in remission going on two years now. But to share this story and know that just one more day is so precious to be able to share and love and care about the others in your life is so awesome. thank you and Sarah to for sharing this with us on facebook

Connie Moreno said...

We haven't known each other long but the demon you have fought has touched my life also. Words can not adequately describe the happiness I feel after reading your post. It is a miracle of science and of mind. I know you have fought with every fiber of your being and now you can breathe a sigh of relief. WOW! Now you HAVE to come to California and visit our favorite place!

JG said...

Good News Thufer.

My thoughts are with you, even if I don't know you.

Best regards.


Thufer said...

Family, friends old and new:
Thank you all for the out pouring of love and support.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sarah's Dad, I am a friend of sarahs online. I just had the most up lifting talk with her, Please,allow me to say... Congradulations on your recovery. I to am in remission from lung cancer. I also have daughters and grandchildren. Your story come home, my home.You must be very proud to have such a daughter! My prayers are always with you and yours. May god watch over you and keep you in good health, Best of luck to you. Ruth.