Whispers in the Wind: Reflections of a Thankful Heart

My Girl with her Best Friend

These two girls have been friends since age 13; they spend a lot of time at our house during middle school and high school years. and they remain friends today.
These two girls have been friends since age 13; they spend a lot of time at our house during middle school and high school years. and they remain friends today. | Source

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

— Melody Beattie

My girl loving her Aunt ...

Source

The Back Story

Much of this recounting I have told before in other hubs. But in order to understand what is happening now and how we are feeling, it is necessary to bring up-to-date those who have not read the other hubs.

What a crazy thing to say. How can anyone be thankful that cancer showed up, uninvited and unwanted, intrusive and destructive leaving devastation in its wake?

And the answer is "It's not quite that simple."

You can choose to be thankful for every day that you have after that diagnosis comes. Thankful that a future comes.

We have learned so many incredible lessons about the strength of the human spirit, the love that even strangers offer, and the abundance of joy each day can bring in spite of challenges that would try to bring you to your knees.

Birthday party, age 15, with Baby Brother and His Momma

Source

Questions Keep Me Awake Sometimes


We have been so blessed. My daughter, my grandson, and I since 1999 when my grandson was first diagnosed with cancer and a most unplanned and unwanted odyssey has evolved.


For many years our lives have been consumed by illness. Cancer chose my grandson and then four years later or so it choose my daughter.

Over the years writing about it has helped to work through questions that have sometimes stolen my nights. Questions of how and when and what have come in the night and still do.

Not 'why'---because stuff happens. That is why.


Maybe this is the way we should all do it...

Age 17, Another Milestone for This Precious Grandson

used with permission
used with permission | Source

The Blessings Began


Blessed? Yes, over and over, time and time again, the blessings have flowed our way.

The first real blessing was when my grandson who is now 19 was first diagnosed at age 4. For the first four years of his life he was deathly ill. One hospitalization after another, and never really getting better. No clear diagnosis ever. Just sick, bone thin, and then a bit of time when he would recover to an extent, and then the cycle continued.


We had been from Orlando to Atlanta in search of an answer and none came. Finally when he was four we decided to return to Florida in the hopes that at Shands we would find the answers hat we had sought but had found nowhere else.


So I left my teaching position and we packed up our things and returned once again to Florida.

And that was the beginning of our blessings.

Little Man with his Momma

used with permission
used with permission | Source

New Hope Had Come

After my grandson's diagnosis in the spring of his fourth year, our lives revolved around doctor visits, tests, more tests, and treatment. But we had an answer, a diagnosis and life was beginning to take on normalcy amidst the less than normal circumstances we now found ourselves in.

This was our new normal.

Having the care of those who had uncovered his illness and were treating him gave us direction now...we were on the way to a cure, we thought.

But not for too long.

Reason to Rejoice

As the months passed after that initial diagnosis and treatment, he did not in fact get better. He slowly slipped into worse health and the medical answers were not changing the progression of his illness.

Some time that year the doctors told us that he would not live to be six. He was so weak and the disease was progressing so rapidly that he would be gone within two years, less than two by the time they told us.

We still continued to go to the doctors and we continued to pray and to believe hopeful he would get better.

And he we rejoiced as he celebrated age six.

Our second blessing and only one more of many to come.



Steampunk Time

used with permission
used with permission | Source

Age 18 ...more Precious Every Day

Loving that precious boyman
Loving that precious boyman | Source

A Terminal Diagnosis

The high we felt after maneuvering that hurdle did not last long for soon after they told us that he certainly would never be nine. We should be prepared.

He had long periods of illness when he lay curled in a tiny ball, unable to eat or drink, due to the sores that lined his mouth and throat.


But age nine came and then eleven and our hearts sang and we began to think maybe all that we had been told had been a misdiagnosis. However a few months after he turned eleven he was diagnosed as terminal. When you hear that word it is like no other.

It suggests that the person will be gone within a short time so live it up ...the Grim Reaper is coming knockin' soon.

For those of you that have heard this diagnosis, you know that is not the case. But we did not know it at that time. And little did we know what waited ahead.

At 20, my Grandson is Now a Young Man

Source

Her Hair Had Just Grown Back and Soon After This Photo it was Gone Again

Source

Simply a Miracle

How a miracle can be simple is beyond my capacity to understand for there is noting simple about them.

But that was what doctors said and still say to my daughter. "It is simply a miracle that you are still on the planet, you know. You really should not still be here."

And she smiles, and says, "But, I am."

An Unwanted Journey that Taught Us Many Lessons

Fast forward to 2008 when my daughter was diagnosed as terminal and told to get serious about the partying because her days were numbered too.

And truth be told, aren't all of us living on borrowed time? Our life on this planet is finite so perhaps we all should heed the advice of many a Country and Western singer who advises us to live like there is no tomorrow.


So now both of them had the same sentence ...before long, death would snatch them from our lives.

The journey with both of them has been one not unlike one trying to cross a room covered with the proverbial egg shells making the effort not to break one. Circuitous, frightening, but awesome and filled with blessings.

Fun with Her Baby Son

used with permission
used with permission | Source

Our Cup Overflows

There's that word again...'blessings.' We have been blessed and we are blessed.


My grandson has turned nineteen now and he still has many issues. He still has chemo from time to time and is on many meds but he is on the planet.

How can we not feel blessed when he is still here when we were told so many years ago he would soon leave us?

A Real Reason to Be Thankful

Now, just before Thanksgiving, we have more news that is not surprising but is devastating none the less. Does that make sense? If you know something is coming, can it rattle you to your bones?

For us it did, for the moment. And as we always we, we rally. We shake off the ashes that would cling to us, the fear that would steal our day, and we march on.

My daughter's surgery this past Tuesday (the week before Thanksgiving) found new tumors. After the surgery the doctors wanted to admit my daughter and begin chemo which has so often almost killed her. She said she just wanted to go home and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family. And after the first of the year she will return and the options will be discussed.


As I drove her home that afternoon, she was calm and at peace. And she said how lovely the doctors had been. And one of them had said how sorry he was with her results. She replied with a phrase we both kind of despise but it just worked in this case: "It is what it is."

And the doctors agreed.

She has many doctor visits prior to the first of the year. She had one yesterday...they did an MRI of her brain to see what is happening with the tumors there and the markers were done for radiation on her neck.

She came home looking tired but as beautiful as I have ever seen her and held her baby son, who is now four, in her arms and smooched on him.

Blessed. Yes. We are.

So many send us good wishes and love and prayers that we cannot possibly feel any other way.

Topping off all of our many blessings, we have one huge reason to be thankful this year: she is on the planet and so is my grandson.

They both asked me what I want for Christmas. You will know my answer. All I want is for them to be well. That is all. No THING could bring me more happiness


Explore Your Options

One thing my daughter has done all along the way in this journey is to be proactive in her care.

She has made decisions about what chemo she would receive, what clinical trials she would participate in, what surgery she would have.

She has also done something that may surprise you. She has refused to take any pain meds that would affect her ability to function well. Any meds that would leave her virtually in a stupor have been refused. And she endures the pain that would make most of us totally lose our minds.

Why? Not a martyr by any means. But she wants to be awake and functioning for her children and her 'old man' as she calls him.

She cooks and cleans and sews and crafts and carries on despite all of the pain that is present on a daily basis.


Today is What Matters...

Over the years as we have climbed these mountains, we have learned how to live as we should.

We make every day count.

And the little stuff, it just doesn't matter.

And trying to second guess what may come, that does not matter either.

What matters is TODAY.

So .....make it matter for you and for those that you love.

Don't wait till something horrible happens.

Live today to the fullest.

It is after all what you have. Tomorrow is not promised.

Say all of the wonderfully crazy, silly, funny, passionate, and romantic things to those that you love.

Feel blessed.




© 2014 Patricia Scott

More by this Author


Comments 51 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you Mary. WE just live one day at a time. Every single moment truly is one more to revel in and feel blessed.

I do so appreciate your kind thoughts. The concern and caring I feel from so many helps more than any will ever know.

Many Angels are on the way to you ps


mary615 profile image

mary615 23 months ago from Florida

I just wanted to come back and let you know I am still thinking and praying for you and yours.

It is my sincere wish that 2015 will be a better year for your family.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you so much, Writer Fox. We remain hopeful that new miracles will come. We have been so blessed over the years and have received many along the way.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 23 months ago from the wadi near the little river

If it were not for bad things happening, we would never know miracles. May you and your family see many miracles this new year.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you so much for your good wishes and your kind words.

I am so touched by what you had to say.It is a time of being thankful for all that we receive and an opportunity to embrace each other and to not miss one moment of each day.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps


old albion profile image

old albion 23 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Patricia. I am humbled on reading your wonderful hub. I cannot offer advice I do not appreciate your day to day lives. Blessings to you all and I hope you have the best Christmas that you have ever shared together.

voted up and all.

Graham.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 24 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you so much for your kind words. It is with the words of so man Angels that we make this day by day journey. We know full well there are so many others to make this unwanted walk.

But we have said over and over, that we will not be lost in some dark lonely place. We have learned so much about what is of value, what really is to be valued, through this walk.

Angels are winging their way to you ps


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 24 months ago from USA

You have an amazing family. God bless you all.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 24 months ago from sunny Florida Author

We are so blessed Flourish...we have received so much support along the way ....It is not an easy walk but it is what it is...You can whine and have a pity party or you can make each day count.

So appreciate you coming by to share your thoughts.

Angels on the way to you this morning ps


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

I'm so sorry that your family has been faced with this, and I can empathize with your daughter's decision to simply enjoy the holidays. Hugs to you and your family.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 24 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Reading the comments today has filled me to overflowing with the kindness and goodness that I feel from each one, like you, who stop and share such sweet thoughts.

It is today that is our gift indeed. I am so humbled by your words, Phyllis


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 24 months ago from sunny Florida Author

How sweet of you Rebecca.

You know that I search out your works too when I come to HubPages.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Angels are winging their way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 24 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Audrey Thank you so much for your kind words. Tears are flowing as I read them. Right now my girl is going through intensive treatment...and truly she is my Christmas present this year.

We are so blessed to have so many who care for us.

Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 24 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Patricia, what could I say to make it all better? What can be said to heal the hurts, the hearts, the mind, the body? I can send love and prayers for Angels to always be surrounding you and your loved ones. You have said it all, dear one - "gratitude and blessings" for loved ones being here today. I have just claimed a new thought process because of your strength and faith. We are here today and for that I am grateful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and joy for each day that dawns in this wonderful hub.

"On the wings of a snow-white dove

He sends His pure sweet love

A sign from above

On the wings of a dove

When troubles surround us, when evils come

The body grows weak

The spirit grows numb

When these things beset us, He doesn't forget us

He sends down His love

On the wings of a dove "

- Ferlin Husky song


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 24 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Best wishes, pstraubie. I love knowing you on HubPages. I hope you and your family have a joyous holiday season.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 24 months ago from California

This is such a moving hub. I am at a loss for words really in the face of your love and courage. But I am aware of the preciousness of life I think and I think you are too--blessed be!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you so very much RTalloni for stopping by.

We are so blessed that so many care about our journey. Part of why I write about it is because it is cathartic to share the story.

But another part, and probably much more important, is that my wish is that someone else who may be walking a similar walk with find some encouragement and hope from reading this.

Again thank you for taking time to stop

Angels are on the way to you ps


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Thank you for sharing some of your family's story. The courage and wisdom with which your daughter has faced her illness is an example to everyone in whatever they may be facing.

Both your grandson and daughter are examples of how doctors do not quite know everything they think they know and of how they actually have a lot to learn, though we appreciate how much they do know and the ways they can help.

That none of us knows what a day will bring makes your encouragement about living with a grateful heart very important. I will pray for you all again.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Pamela...I am not here as much as I needed to earn some money so write also on Bubblews.

I love this community though so much that I do come back and read and comment and all.

Hoping for you that all is better for you and your family. I know how painful that surgery can be.

Our lives are all filled with so much that causes us to feel a bit overpowered by the challenge...but we pick up our pieces and move forward. And I do that in large part because of so many who offer support and love.

Thank you for visiting.

Angels are on the way to you ps


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

I have been away from Hubpages for a while due to surgery on my rotator cuff, my mother's hospitalization and some other problems, so I didn't know what had been happening in your life. I think it is marvelous that you can find the blessings and the determination of your daughter is remarkable. I am so impressed by your story and my prayers are with you and your familu.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Teaches I can only tell you that we draw strength from so many who lift us up and carry us along in this journey.

One thing is for sure...we have learned to live our lives as we should...one day at a time and we are thankful

Thank you so much for stopping by

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Teaches I can only tell you that we draw strength from so many who lift us up and carry us along in this journey.

One thing is for sure...we have learned to live our lives as we should...one day at a time and we are thankful

Thank you so much for stopping by

Angels are on the way to you ps


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I am so impressed with your strength and examples of pure love! I pray that your faith will also help others to remember what really counts in life. Blessings, hugs and prayers.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

So you really do get it don't you? So very glad to hear that you are on the planet after facing it and now living.

Many Angels are on the way to you today and each day ps


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

Yes, none of us choose this journey of cancer or any illness. I wake up every morning thanking God for the new day. I am blessed to be ten years cancer free-When they told my family and I that I had a 20% chance of making five years, I too did not want to live my life in fear everyday. My life has been full of love, joy and gratitude. Again, thanks for the inspirational words of wisdom about you and your families journey.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you for stopping Pinto...we do not dread any day...we find each new day is a gift.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

O Minnetonka Thank you for your kindness.

Unfortunately our journey is one that so many have had to take.

No one would take this journey if they did not have to do.

But we found that not missing one minute of today is what works for us.

There is so much that each day brings that makes us be filled with happiness that we are so very blessed Colorfulone

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Every day is another day we have to treasure and embrace. this Thanksgiving and Christmas are yet another time we have to let the cares wash away and just immerse ourselves in the joy and fun and love.

thank you so much for stopping by

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

O, Dear Sweet Mary, I can only tell you that the wind beneath my wings from all of the lovely people who lift us hope with love and support like you is what keeps us focused on loving each other every day rather than dwelling on the frightening parts of this journey.

Sending you many Angels today and each day ps


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I doubt that I could be as brave as you and your family have been throughout all this. I am blessed to have healthy children and grandchildren, and I give thanks each and every day for that.

Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, Mary


pinto2011 profile image

pinto2011 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Yes this is a dreaded fact because this still reduces the life to many unpleasant circumstances.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Shyron

I cannot tell you how many times we have sung, and still sing,t his beautiful song. It has been a lamp lighting the way as God holds us up and carries us through our most difficult times.

How precious of you to take the time to stop and read and care enough to share those words with all.

One day at a time is all we are given...how blessed we are ...and learning to live within that time frame shows us how truly to live. Thank you so very much .

Have a most wonderful day and know that many Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

PS, your story is a blessing, thank you. I love Melody Beattie's saying, it is beautiful. You and your family are beautiful, and I have a song for you.

"One Day at a Time"

I’m only human,

I’m just a woman.

Help me believe in what I could be

And all that I am.

Show me the stairway

I have to climb.

Lord for my sake

Teach me to take

One day at a time

One day at a time Sweet Jesus,

That’s all I’m asking of you,

Just give me the strength to do every day

What I have to do.

Yesterday’s gone Sweet Jesus

And tomorrow may never be nigh

Lord help me today

Show me the way

One day at a time

Do you remember

When you walked among men

Well Jesus you know

If you’re looking below

It’s worse now than then

Pushing and shoving

And crowding my mind

So for my sake

Teach me to take

One day at a time

One day at a time Sweet Jesus,

That’s all I’m asking of you,

Just give me the strength to do every day

What I have to do.

Yesterday’s gone Sweet Jesus

And tomorrow may never be nigh

Lord help me today

Show me the way

One day at a time

Lord help me today

Show me the way

One day at a time

You have touched me, more than you could know.

Blessings and hugs and angel's kisses.

I am blessed to call you my friend.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

I have been given a gift today by reading this inspiring hub. I am brought to my knee's to what is really important in life. Your family is beautiful and strong. I thank you so much for sharing this message of hope with all of us. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I'm sharing this all over :)


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 2 years ago from Minnesota

All that we have is now, and what is past or future doesn't matter. It is one thing to say that, it is another to walk it moment by moment. You and your family are an inspiration, and that shines through in your writing, PS.

Be strong in the Lord!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You know Randi that tears are streaming after reading your words. It is a one day at a time life we live...and after all isn't that how we should live anyway.

Wishing you and your family a most blessed day today.

Angels are on the way to you and yours. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Peggy Thank you for your kind words.

I am truly blessed and so very thankful to be able to hug the necks of those precious ones today.

It has been a journey that has really taught us what to treasure, what is important.

Thank you for your friendship and uplifting calm over the years. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones today

Angels are on the way to you today ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is such a wonderful story Patricia of how to live each day as it comes and to enjoy the blessings that are sometimes mixed with the pain. Your attitude, enduring love and strength has undoubtedly been a safe haven as all of you have faced each mounting storm. May many blessings continue to surround you always (as Bill said) on the wings of angels. Happy Thanksgiving today. Sharing this with others.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Every time I read a hub and an update on your beautiful family, I marvel at your strengths, resilience and faith! You are all amazing! Always in my thoughts and prayers.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so thoughtful to stop and share your thoughts. You know, we had to make a choice. We had to decide whether to live or to wallow in the depths of despair.

We chose the first of those.

And we have never once regretted it.

May you have a lovely Thanksgiving

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so kind, Audrey

Each family faces some kind of challenge that makes them gasp for a moment. But many of them begin anew, facing what comes, embracing the day, and going on.

That is what happened for us many years ago and we are so thankful.

Have a most blessed Thanksgiving.

Angels are on the way to you ps


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

This is so very humbling but also inspiring. I don't know how I would cope given the same circumstances, but I would be thankful for even a fraction of the strength, courage and love shown by you and your family. Christmas is a time of miracles...may all your wishes come true.

Voting up and sharing.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you so very much for your kindness, Faith.

We are so thankful that my girl is still on the planet. She is struggling now...She continues to get up every single day with new resolve and is the Momma and wife and daughter that anyone could wish for.

I am sending back those Angels to you and your family. I know that you like each of us too has your own mountains to climb. and together we give each other the strength and courage to keep on keeping on..

Love and hugs and a most blessed Thanksgiving to you and your lovely family.

Angels on the way now... ps


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Patricia. You and your family are so brave. braver than many others on this planet. God has Blessed you and we must be glad for every day we are still here. My daughters good friend from work just died in a spinning exercise class. It is what it is. She says she must be brave. We all need to be brave, and God bless your family who may live forever. Blessings. Audrey Will share hub


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Aw, dear PS, you amaze me with your strength for each new day to make the best of THIS day. You and your family have been blessed, and I understand too, about such disease, and to know without a doubt, if we are still here, then that is a miracle and there is a reason, which you have shared many here.

Please know I think of you and your precious family often and certainly keep all in my prayers. I will step them up now.

(((Hugs)) and much love being sent by an army of angels


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you for stopping by, Nell. I just keep thinking that each second I have with these precious loved ones is such a treasure.

Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

As billy said, Tears..but how you are all coping is beyond strength you are all incredible, sending my prayers and hugs across the water, nell


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You know, Eric, I guess we have to walk this walk however it works for us, don't we?

Living happy in a simple life sounds like a great way to live.

Thank you for visiting.... Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You are another reason to feel blessed, Bill. This is a journey that would not wish on anyone but we are so supported and loved that it has made each day brand new for us in so many ways.

I am wishing for you and yours and most lovely Thanksgiving and Christmas if I do not get back to you ...Love and Hugs and Angels back to you and yours ps


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Tears...but they are tears of joy, PS. I wish I could force everyone to read this. I get so tired of the whining from people who wouldn't know a real problem if it hit them over the head. I marvel at your resilience and your determination to enjoy life. Bravo my friend. Sending hugs and blessings on the wings of an angel.

bill


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

A so tragic and yet wonderful tale, made even more so by it's reality. As a "survivor" of such a diagnosis I count each day as a blessing. I do not really do as the songs sing about but I live happy in the simple life.

My prayers are with you and yours.

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