As I lay in bed this morning, feeling Zoë’s arms wrapped around me, feeling the warmth of her breath on my neck and the gentle sound of her snoring, my heart just overflowed with love. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did have to go to the bathroom. One of these days, we will figure out how to be able to do both things at one time. Until then, I guess I will have to do with interrupting those special moments. It is not that her touch, breathing or snoring is any different then it has been for the last 10 years, it just has taken on a completely new meaning.
My Bubby, Yiddish for grandmother, used to tell me when you can see the good in a bad situation then you know you are going to be ok. I am not going to lie to myself or anybody else. If there was a way of opting out of Zoë having cancer and going through the treatments and surgeries, we both would have opted out of this. However, as this was not an option, I am grateful for what I am learning about her, myself, our friends, us as a couple, and our relationship with the Infinite.
I am learning how to appreciate the little things in life, like her snoring and to see it as a gift. It seems to me we have a choice about how we look at things. We can look at the challenges in our life as curses or blessings. The more I think about the blessings, which have come into our lives because of her cancer diagnosis, the more I realize how much we have to be grateful for. I am grateful for all the prayers and support which have come from around the world, many of which have come from people we have never met. I am grateful for those in our lives who have stepped forward and blessed us with offerings of food, transportation, prayer, love, and cleaning. I am grateful for how this has brought our relationship with each other to a deeper level. It is funny how the little things that could get on our nerves become the things we come to treasure the most. I remember watching this film with Robin Williams several years ago called Good Will Hunting. There is this scene where he is talking about his deceased wife and how she would pass these cannonball like farts in the middle of the night. They were so loud they would wake her up and she thought they were him. Her farts were one of those things he said he missed. Zoë’s snoring has kind of become like that for me. A few months ago, she went to visit her aunt for a few days and the bedroom was so quiet. It was strange. I remember having a hard time falling asleep because it was too quiet. If I go to bed before her, I have to turn the television on so that I have some noise to help me fall asleep.
I have come to realize that no matter how busy I am with things to do, there is always time to take a few minutes and look at whatever she has found on the internet that has captured her attention, or to listen to a song that is in her spirit with her, or to listen to the list of things we need to get rid of in our home as they unintentionally can contribute to cancer. These moments as American Express would say are priceless. They are irreplaceable.
I have come to realize that what I am called to do right now in my life is to make each day as filled with love, warmth, grace, wisdom, humor, and compassion as I can. It is not that I was not doing that before her diagnosis, I was. However, now it comes from a different place in my heart and soul.
The funny thing is that it feels as if we have not only grown in our love for each other, but also at the same time rediscovered or rekindled a newness that was not as present as it was when we were first started dating 10 years ago. I know this phase of our journey together has just begun and there are more blessings to be revealed. I also know the blessings have not yet begun to reveal themselves. The best is yet to come for her, for me and for us.