Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
- Abraham Lincoln
So, here we are. At the hospital. It's been a fitful night, my wife in a hospital bed that never seems comfortable enough. Me, on a hospital couch that I wish were a foot longer.
Sleep comes in small increments, interrupted by machinery that only beeps because it's supposed to. Machines don't care that we can't sleep. Nurses and doctors come through, each with their own important part to play. X-rays, vital signs, medications, and promises to be back.
Recently, my wife was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. So now, we embark on yet another journey. This is certainly not the one we would have chosen, but it is the one for which we have been selected. Breast cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer so we are full of hope. Moreover, we believe in the sovereign will and healing power of God, so we are full of faith. We hold hands and we walk together.
Which brings me back to the present. Sometimes the routine becomes less so. The common gives way to the rare and the rare suddenly becomes real. Procedures that are supposed to be simple turn into complications and a short outpatient office appointment turns into a third day in the hospital.
It's a clear reminder that each case is different and nothing can be taken for granted. We don't know what the future has in store. We know it will involve a fight, so we are gearing up. Again.
Sometimes, it's easy to get tired. Unemployment, destruction of a business partnership, (almost) loss of a house, going from two vehicles to none. There's never a good time, but this seems to be the worst time, but this is when cars break down, I miss days at my new job, and we have to give up activities we love.
But it is a process. One that we will walk together. Discouragement can be a quick companion. But then, life gets serious and we get mad.
You see, this thing ... this we will fight.