When you are waiting outside an operating room for a loved one having surgery, so much goes through your mind.  You think about how fragile life is.  And how valuable those are who can save it.

When a doctor shakes your hand and says, “The surgery went perfectly.  Everything looks good.” It feels like a physical weight is floating up off your shoulders and you can fly.

My mom had her second colon cancer surgery in four years yesterday.   Although she was scared as she prepared for the journey, she packed the positive attitude that has been her partner throughout her life.

I received emails from all over North America and Ireland throughout the day from people who were thinking of her and praying for her.

The hospital said there was no way she would be able to get a private room, and then just before she arrived on the floor, the nurse said, “This never happens, but a private room just opened up.”

My mom is a retired nurse who took care of so many people during her 40-year career. She often came home from work with her brown-bag lunch in her purse because she didn’t get a chance to take a break. Now it is her turn to be taken care of by others.  Her first nurse after the operation was lovely and told us that the doctor who did my mom’s surgery was named surgeon of the year in the three hospitals in our district.  One of many blessings of the day.

As we rally around my mom to help her heal, it makes me think of what Henry David Thoreau once said, “There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.”

And what Arthur Golden once said, “Adversity is like a strong wind.  It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.”

May we all relish in our health when we have it, face life’s challenges with a positive outlook, and celebrate the gift of life by living it to the fullest each and every day.