Last week I didn’t make my daily Lenten walk to the mailbox for the very good reason that my husband and I were away for our first-ever trip to Hawaii! I’m sure we looked like just another couple of tourists in Hawaiian shirts and leis (and no, we did not get matching outfits!), but for us those seven glorious days marked a special anniversary.
Last year at this time, my husband–who had always been healthy, who even then felt as healthy as usual–received the dreaded diagnosis: Cancer – Surgery – possibly radiation – possibly chemo. At first, we could hardly take it all in, let alone share the news with others. And once we started telling people, we decided to keep it out of social media. What we were going through at the time felt too enormous for a Facebook post, too tender for Twitter. I didn’t even feel like blogging about it, and besides it wasn’t only my story to tell.
But now with Gary’s permission, I’m sharing the glad news that his surgery went well with few complications and no need for radiation or chemo. He started running again, returned to teaching, and is now quite well recovered. I am so THANKFUL!! and praise God for carrying us through this last year–for physical healing, for calm in the midst of anxious moments, excellent medical care, many supportive relationships, prayer, and so much more.
Our experience of the last year has reconfirmed Lamentations 3:22-23 for me:
It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
I couldn`t ask for a better post-surgery celebration than Gary’s full recovery, and to top it off, we planned a post-surgery, post-recovery trip to Hawaii. While some give up Facebook for Lent but make an exception for Sundays, I decided to make this last week my exception to Lenten practice. We had good reason to celebrate! When we booked our flights we still weren`t sure if Gary would be up to a lot of activity or whether we might just relax and do nothing, but our trip to Hawaii turned out to be a wonderful combination of both.
Admiring Diamond Head from the beach at Waikiki–still impressive even on a cloudy day:
Hiking Diamond Head one morning:
Enjoying the view from the top:
And the shave ice reward at the bottom:
Seeing beautiful flowers on the side of the street and everywhere:
Taking a nature tour along Oahu`s North Shore:
Spotting a Hawaiian green turtle which is an endangered species:
Watching the sun go down from Gray’s Beach:
Let the Lord’s name be blessed
from now until forever from now!
From sunrise to sunset,
let the Lord’s name be praised!
– Psalm 113:2-3