I am 18 (again)

This weekend marked 18 years since my Stage III Malignant Melanoma diagnosis.

I will never forget asking my mom, “Is that cancer?”

For the past 17 years I have looked forward to this date. I treated it like a birthday, a reason to celebrate. “Let’s go out!” I would say to my friends. “Let’s gather ’round to toast another year!” It’s like birthday and New Year’s and Thanksgiving wrapped up into one very personal day.

But not this year.

I let the day come and go without fanfare, without a raised glass, without evenĀ a nod of recognition.

It’s hard to be a cancer survivor when the very thing that you have been liberated from has ravenously gobbled up your mother. Survivors have guilt, you know.

Sunday, during worship, I finally let myself let go of all that I was holding in. As the songs of hope, love, and resurrection washed over me silent tears flowed down my cheeks. When we reached the time in the service when we say The Lord’s Prayer I couldn’t open my mouth. I knew I would choke on the words so I let the corporate body say it for me.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,

The power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.

Amen.

The words flowed over me like a gentle river. One would assume that these “thin places” I write about would happen in church all the time. They may for some but not for me. It happened on Sunday, though. And I will hold on to that forever and ever.

Amen.

{The picture for this post is my hard-fought attempt to be funny about a really un-funny thing. Ironically, my astrological sign is Cancer. I just can’t get away from it.}

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One thought on “I am 18 (again)

  1. I’m glad you are a survivor. This ‘thin place’ is evidence of God’s provision for you in all things ‘life’.

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