My husband was always the one to clean off the car and shovel the side walk, the one who drove on slippery roads during snowstorms. All that responsibility fell to me when he became ill.
We woke up to fresh snow on December 5th. The top layer was light and fluffy but beneath it was wet snow and ice. My husband, who is getting chemotherapy for lymphoma, was scheduled to have his weekly blood tests drawn at our clinic, which is 18 miles from our home. I bundled up and pulled on my boots. As I pushed snow off the car and scraped ice off the windshield, I wondered if I should cancel Howard’s appointment. I didn’t want to do that. It was important to know his current white blood cell count and hemoglobin. I also wondered if I could get out of our driveway and down our street without getting stuck. After cleaning the car, I grabbed our shovel and carried it down our street to the main road. As I assessed our circumstances, I was sure I could drive through the fresh snow. At the end of our street at the main road, I saw that the county plow had pushed large clumps of iced snow into our street. I tried to shovel out a path for our car, but soon admitted to myself that the cost of lifting and throwing those heavy clumps to make a path for the car might mean injuring my bad back. I knew I needed to stay healthy to care for my husband. As I walked back to our home, I prayed for help. After I was inside and out of my coat, I grabbed my cell phone and called Dan, who plows our driveway. I explained that I needed to have our driveway plowed and a path down our street cleared before 9 am. To my relief, he said that he could do that. Dan arrived right at 9, and I called the clinic to say Howard was going to be late. We got in our coats while the driveway and road were being cleared. As I started the car, Howard and I prayed for safety. The roads were slick, and I couldn’t drive more than 40 the entire trip.
That evening I thought about how different my life is this winter than past years. I thought about the adjustments I am having to make. In the midst of my self pity, a thought was inserted, a gift was bestowed. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 – New American Standard Bible) My attitude was changed as the Holy Spirit gave me grace to recall and believe the truth and grace to speak thanksgiving and praise.
Yes, Lord, you are right. I can make these adjustments. I can do all these things because you are giving me strength. You are helping me. Thanks for Dan who plowed us out today. Thanks for a safe trip to the clinic and back home. Thanks for our sons who were praying for us. Thanks that Howard’s white blood count wasn’t so low he needed prophylactic antibiotics. Thanks that his hemoglobin didn’t fall so low he needed a blood transfusion. You are a good Daddy, God. You are the Best Dad. Thanks for your tender, loving care for us. Amen.