One year ago, on Easter Sunday, I was in southern Illinois with my husband and daughter, parents and siblings. Just two short weeks before, I had been diagnosed with a relapse,
just three months after completing treatment for my first recurrence.
It went unspoken for the entire weekend, but it was on everyone’s minds…
Is this going to be Sarah’s last holiday?
I believe that, in those moments of pure uncertainty of the future and what it holds, you truly get a glimpse of the beauty of this world. The beauty in those you love – the beauty in the places and the objects surrounding you.
So many times, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the stresses that go with it.
I’m guilty of it, too!
But for that weekend, time seemed to slow down and everyone enjoyed each other.
Obviously, it was not my last holiday, as I’m still here – able to tell you all about it!
But boy, if it had been, it was one for the books!
My uncle coordinated a lot of the traveling for my siblings who lived out of state – and one even out of the country! It was Abbie’s first Easter as well, which made things extra special, but also extra bittersweet.
Stories were told, eggs were hunted, food was eaten (a lot of food was eaten!) and memories were made.
I’ve come to find that making memories with siblings, as you grow older, is much more difficult than when you were kids and usually all in the same place for holidays.
Everybody grows up, moves away, they’re doing their own thing – life happens.
Growing up in a family of 5, sometimes 7 kids, our holidays were all hustle and bustle, and we loved it!
But as time passes, not everybody is able to make it home for every holiday anymore and it starts getting harder and harder to get everybody together.
That’s why last Easter was so special. Everyone was together – 7 siblings and the folks – just like the good ‘ol days!
That same weekend, I made contact with Dr. Anderson – the Ewings specialist in Cleveland.
Early Saturday morning, I sent an email to him to explain my current situation. I truly did not expect to hear anything back until at least Monday, if not later, due to the holiday weekend.
Within a few hours, Dr. Anderson had responded to my email and advised me on a few things to do when Monday morning rolled around, so as to see him as soon as possible.
Easter fell on March 27th last year. I was sitting in his office on April 1st.
I knew that my future was in the hands of a very skilled, compassionate professional. Over the next several months, more trips to Cleveland were made while trying to figure out a chemotherapy that would shrink my tumors. Unfortunately, no regimen seemed to work and it was finally decided that they would remove the entire left lung – something that they wanted to keep as a last resort measure.
It will be a while until I am completely out of the woods. Ewings is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that recurs often. While this unnerving fact is not preventing me from enjoying my life,
it is always lingering in the back of my mind.
And I simply have to think back to last Easter –
to what everyone thought may have been my last holiday on this Earth…
What a difference a year makes!
We often don’t think of a year as being much time. In the big scheme of things, it is barely a drop in the bucket. But a lot can happen in a year – numerous people are brought into the world and leave this world within a year’s time…illnesses can can come and go in a year’s time…relationships can begin and end.
No one ever has “all the time in the world” despite what we think.
There are many nights that I lay down to sleep and wonder if I’ve wasted away my day.
Many times, I tell myself that I’ll get to something tomorrow and put it off.
We’re all guilty of this, I’m sure.
But once in a while, stop for a moment and take a breath.
We won’t be here forever.
Our kids won’t be little forever.
Mom and Dad won’t be around one day.
Take that humbling truth and enjoy those around you –
make memories that you can hold onto long after someone has gone.
A lot can change in a year ~ make each one count.