Stephanie Pearce: A love story
He quietly opens the door to his home after a long day of work. He walks as lightly as he can to the kitchen where he puts his lunch box on the counter. He peers into the living room and spots the love of his life on the couch with her eyes closed. He doesn’t want to disturb her, so he moves slowly and silently around the house.
When he has cleaned himself up from work, he sits in the living room in a chair next to her. He picks up her hand and remembers the first time he held it. That first time, he was so nervous that his palms were sweaty and he played over and over how he should put his hand in hers so he seemed smooth to her and not nerdy. He remembers he ended up just walking next to her and slipping his fingers in hers quickly and then squeezing hers a little tighter than he should have. He recalled she looked up at him and smiled as if to say, “It’s about time.”
Now, he looks at her hands, and they aren’t as supple as they were before. This disease she’s fighting has taken its toll on her body. She doesn’t eat much now and her hands, along with the rest of her are bonier than they should be. He still kisses them because he wouldn’t want to lose a moment with her no matter what her body looks like. He is amazed at her strength and determination to beat this and it makes him love her even more.
At night he prays.
He prays for healing for her. He prays for more good days with her. He prays for strength to be what she needs. He knows this is hard for her. He has a hard time because he knows he can’t fix this for her. Give him a problem and he’ll fix it. Taking care of her without fixing this makes him feel a little like a failure. How can he not protect her from this? So, he prays for an answer.
She opens her tired eyes and does her best to smile for him. She knows he’s had a long day and now, he will take care of her too. She knows she’s lucky. He isn’t pulling away from her and spending more time with his buddies, but as much as she wants him there to love her, she knows he needs time to regroup.
This fight is something she can’t tag out of. She can’t spend time with her friends and feel less stressed but only more tired. She tries to eat, to keep up her strength for him, but there are no timeouts when you’re fighting for your life. She reaches her hand and strokes his face and looks at him with so much love and says, “Thank you for loving me like you do.”
October is Breast Cancer awareness Month. Please encourage your friends to get their mammograms yearly and do their buddy checks monthly. We know so many touched by cancers of all kinds and we need to support them. If you can’t think of a way to show your support to these families fighting, the best thing you can do is pray for them.
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In my drought- and fire-plagued home valley, 40 miles north of San Francisco, a debate has been simmering for decades over a massive development planned on state-owned property.