October 10, 2015
October marks two anniversaries at my house. The first pales in significance to the second. We’ve been together for twenty-one years. The second - my beloved has been cancer free for nine years.
Back in 2006, our situation was grim until his oncologist offered a Hail Mary drug. It worked. The tumor suddenly shrunk and the surgeon at Johns Hopkins agreed to take a chance on surgery. Times were bleak, but the rainbow was just ahead.
Eleven days after his surgery, I wrote the following blog. The feeling of appreciation of being alive and together has lasted over the years. We have been greatly blessed.
PS. The same cat is still waking me up by tickling me with his whiskers.
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October 29, 2006
For these past many months I’ve suffered with insomnia. The inability to sleep, and rest, often has hidden causes. At least I knew what haunted me. My beloved’s battle with cancer has taken a toll on our life together and as individuals. The prolonged use of chemotherapy did its job and the tumor was finally removed. While his long-term prognosis is unclear, we at least have renewed hope. In a time when it seems politically incorrect to do so, my thanks and my praise remain thankfully given to God.
Now I have some breathing (or is it sleeping) room and the last three nights have been blissful. I’ve dropped like a rock before primetime and have barely been able to wake up twelve hours later. Until this morning.
This morning the brush of whiskers on my cheek and the sinking of not-so-tiny claws into my bosom got my attention at the ungodly hour of 4:13 a.m. I love my cat, honest I do, but his early morning demands were a bit much. He wanted to go outside and it was pouring rain. He was unhappy. He wasn’t getting his way with the universe, therefore his slaves needed to be awake and paying attention to him.
I threw him out in the rain. Tossed him right out the door. Call the ASPCA on me. Call PETA. Call a cat rescue. I don’t care. Better yet, you come and get him and let him put puncture wounds in your breast. And besides, he has a little cathouse under the eaves to go curl up in and stay dry. I stumbled back to bed and pulled the covers over my head. That’s when I realized my beloved was awake, too. “Do you know it’s raining?” he asked.
Why, no, dear. I had no idea. I missed the waterfall when I opened the back door and booted the cat out for a swim.
I rolled over and we snuggled up together as best a man with fifty staples tracing the outline of his right ribs can and we listened to the rain. Such a small thing, the sound of rain on the roof, but I don’t think we’ve heard it for two years.