Dear Readers: This morning, as I was going through a stack of old newspapers, clearing out some of my pileage of “stuff,” I happened to spy this letter that had appeared in a South Bend Tribune’s “Annie’s Mailbox” column.
“Annie’s Mailbox” was almost always filled with correspondence from people asking columnists Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar for advice on how to handle ongoing squabbles with relatives, co-workers, and/or friends. The letters were often filled with critical, nitpicky, unkind, even vicious words about the individuals involved. Everybody seemed to be very angry with everyone else, not unlike our country these days.
That’s why this particular letter presenting happy, uplifting thoughts really caught my eye. Also, having struggled with health issues of my own, this author’s words struck home with me.
As many of you know from your own personal experiences, when you, or someone you love, is facing a serious health issue, your perspective on life — on what really matters — can change in an instant. Certain things that beforehand seemed to be of tremendous importance all at once are seen as being of little or no consequence, while other things that you’ve taken for granted up until that time are suddenly recognized as more precious than gold. You come to appreciate more fully all the many blessings you have. A re-set of priorities. A very good re-set. And why should we be surprised? God makes something good out of every situation.
Hope you enjoy this gentleman’s heartfelt words as much as I did.
Here’s to Life!
Two years ago, my wife developed breast cancer. The cancer was removed, and we’ve been told she will be fine. We have been married for 41 years, and I am hoping for another 41. I love my wife more than words can say.
Since her brush with cancer, I have noticed that things that once might have incited a “discussion” no longer seem to matter. And I have discovered a number of maladies of my own.
I have, for instance, become “deaf” to certain things in our marriage. For instance, she used to say “you know” a lot. You know? Now I am just thrilled to hear her voice. Blindness has also invaded our house. Neither of us notices the petty annoyances that used to bug us. Our marriage is better now that we don’t see so well.
We both have lost our ability to talk, as well. Once in a while, certain words – hurtful words – used to be thrown around carelessly. But now, neither one of us has the ability to say such things anymore. And I had no idea that cancer could make a person forgetful. I can no longer recall any of my wife’s faults.
One thing that has not been affected, though, is my heart. It still races when I see her. It still flutters when I hear her voice. And it still skips a beat when we kiss. Why must we wait until it is almost too late to appreciate what we have – and could have lost?
A Little Wiser
South Bend Tribune, “Annie’s Mailbox,” Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, Saturday, February 2, 2013, B7.