To live will be an awfully big adventure.

“Chemo today. Count it all joy.”

This was one of the last things my mother ever posted to facebook. I hear those words this morning, as if letters on a keyboard had a voice, whispering in the back of my mind.

My bed beckoned to me late. Despite the comfort I found there, I knew it would not last long enough. Shortly after my eyes would close, a little boy, still new to the word, would cry with hunger. I would feed him in the dark, knowing he was precious, yet too exhausted to see. I would stumble into bed and pray that he would sleep the rest of the night, and yet knowing he would not. Once more, he would cry too early, and I would feed him again, just as morning was dawning. And as my eyes would slip closed for those last moments of sleep, that have become gold to me, I knew my delightful daughter, who wakes with the day, would soon crawl into my bed anxious to live.

To live.

But this night, before it all played out in the story that is my life right now, I decided I would wake up differently. Instead of longing for my bed and groaning as I would rise to care for my brood… I chose to be thankful for life.

It seems obvious. But after months of sleep deprivation, the lines are blurred. Things become routine. The coffee brews, the bagels toast, the sun rises, and my vision blurs.

But not this morning. I was woken by my daughter. I was too tired to see which one it was, but when she spoke, I knew. It was my oldest, and her voice was happy.

Thank you, Lord.

I rose slowly. My body protested. A body alive and well and healthy.

Thank you, Lord.

Their daddy had fed them breakfast before he left for work, and so in the quiet of morning all was peaceful.

Thank you, Lord.

I washed some dishes while my coffee cup filled and watched through the window as steam rose from the hills. Fog rolled through the vineyards that are only visable from my kitchen window in the winter. Through naked trees, I watch the earth awaken. The sun is blinding, and though my heart yearns for rain, I am thankful. Thankful for the break of a new day.

Thank you, Lord.

My middle darling, the most delightful person I’ve ever known, tells me her dream. Then rushes to make a book. She colors, she talks, she eats, she considers, she postulates, and all in a matter of minutes.

Thank you, Lord, for this child.

My oldest darling, one who is often ruled by her emotions, is amused by her sister. She smiles, and that smile is as bright as the sunlight to me. My soul pauses.

Thank you, Lord, for this child.

My baby beckons. He’s growing now. Standing. Wanting to walk. He yells and it sounds as if he’s a quarterback, poised with his team, calling out a play. I feed him, I change him, and he explores. His laugh rings out as he discovers something new.

Thank you, Lord, for this child.

And my mother’s words echo, written from the depths of a soul who longed to do the simple things again; to fold laundry for her daughters, to wash dishes with hands that did not burn, to breathe breaths that were not numbered, to awaken to a day with endless possibilities.

Thank you, Lord. 

I cry because I miss her. I cry because I know she is alive and well in that place of glory. I cry because I will embrace her again.

Thank you, Lord, for hope.

And now.

I see this day, stretched out before us like a snow-white canvas begging to be permanently altered.

And I live.

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