Sometimes we feel the knot in our chest loosen a little. It’s no longer as stifling as it once felt. And we find permission to dream again.

That’s where we are now. Thankful. Breathing again. Knowing that the worst has passed. The lessons we’re learning haven’t been easy ones, but they are enriching, and character-building. And, honestly, good for us. Thank you for caring, for praying. Thank you for smiling with us as we exhale, smiling with us as we feel relief. Being glad alongside us to know that treatment is done. Praying for us as I continue to heal. It matters to us.

This is what I know- what I’ve learned:

-We have a beautiful life. I knew it all along, but sometimes, it takes a dark, scary place to remind us, to view the colors more clearly.

-We are loved.

-God is good. He cares in the dark hours.

-I have wonderful, wonderful friends. Of family and of faith.

-My clients and blog readers are kind. And patient. And care about us.

-My children are loved, and have been cared for in ways above any expectation.

-Grandparents are irreplaceable. My children have 8 living grandparents. 4 grands, 4 greats. They have no idea how fortunate they are. Thank you, Mom and Dad R. and Mom and Dad H. You’re the next-best-thing to parents, as far as the kids are concerned. Well, scratch that. Probably better. I’m told it’s ‘like vacation’ at your house. Which is so good.

-Sisters are important. Sisters-in-law, too. Caring. Helping. Lightening the load. Babysitting. Calling. Knowing. Listening. Understanding. Little did I know how wrong I was when I was young- wishing then that I was an only child. I had no idea. I cannot imagine life without my four sisters. I love all of you to bits. (P.S. Brothers-in-law? Pretty spiffy, too.)

-Friends are lifesavers. Friends who strengthen our faith, who do the school shopping, and drop off groceries, and bring meals, and send flowers, and leave notes and write cards and listen to our tears, and leave a kind message, and take the kids and shop for our vacation, and mow the lawn, and give to us in ways that leave us speechless. Who do so many other things beyond what I could list. I’m wishing we had the right words.  Thank you.

-Paul. He’s quiet and unassuming, and so kind. I have to say it. I don’t know where I’d be without him. When the storms come, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than with that man. He’s the steady shelter I need. The opposite of me in so many ways– which is why he’s so easy to get along with…  Thank you, Paul. I love you.

-The Cape was one of the best things that could have happened in the midst of all this. We got away. And enjoyed each other, relaxing, laughing, playing in the sand and surf, enjoying time with friends, worrying a little, but soaking in every precious little drop of life we could during those six days. Looking back at the photos and little video clips has been so good for me over the past weeks, and has given an escape for my weakened body and weary brain. Cape Cod. There’s no place like it. The sand, the wind, the beauty of the surf. The light on the dunes at evening, and the sound of beautiful silence in North Truro. The night sky, where the stars are shown in a beauty like I’ve never seen elsewhere. It’s our spot, our escape. And when this all happened, there was no other place I wanted to be but there. I couldn’t agree more with Thoreau, as he said in the last sentence of his book, ‘Cape Cod’- speaking of its endless shore:  “A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”   -It’s true.

Which brings me to this:  my sanity when I was waiting, and now my enjoyment while I heal. The Cape, as seen through the eyes of our family:

August 30, 2010 - 9:44 pm

Julie - Betsy, Betsy, Betsy…thank you for sharing. Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I watch. It helps me to know how to pray…and I do pray. Constantly. All I know and all I can say is that God is good and He is faithful. I love you!

August 31, 2010 - 4:40 am

Sarah - Betsy, We have been praying all along for you, and all I could do last night when I heard the news was say a prayer of thanks. God is good and He will continue to bless you throughout the coming years.

August 31, 2010 - 5:07 am

Cheryl Ryan - I did notice only one set of footprints in the sand. That must have been the part where you were being carried.

August 31, 2010 - 5:31 am

Katie - Beautiful!!

August 31, 2010 - 6:54 am

Kara - Incredible video Betsy.


August 31, 2010 - 7:29 am

Holly - …you made me cry Betsy. We love you!

August 31, 2010 - 10:12 am

Jayme - It is obvious, just by your post that your spirits are higher. Many more prayers coming your way. Glad you are “exhaling” :)

August 31, 2010 - 10:20 am

Jill - Like other ones have commented…you made me cry, Betsy. We are so happy and thankful for you and yours. We pray for a speedy recovery as you heal.

August 31, 2010 - 11:16 am

Dorothy - Betsy, We are so thankful . . . and will continue to be prayerful as you continue to heal. Love you all muchly!

August 31, 2010 - 12:40 pm

Shannon - PTL! God is good…all the time…God is good.

August 31, 2010 - 2:21 pm

Naomi Walder - Dear Betz- So thankful that God has provided in this way! We love you.

August 31, 2010 - 2:22 pm

Sarah - Betsy I am SO thankful! It is true that sometimes we need the dark scary times to make us recognize how blessed we are to have the good times. Love you cuz- miss you too! See you in a couple weeks…

August 31, 2010 - 6:00 pm

Diane A - SO happy to hear you’re exhaling & in a much better place, Betsy. We’ve only met you once & you have left such a mark on our hearts. This brought tears to my eyes as you have been on my mind & in my prayers since I heard your news. God is great! Prayers are still sent your way as you continue to heal. Take good care!

August 31, 2010 - 7:14 pm

Donna - Very, very nice, Betsy … we also love the Cape! Thankful for you that the “knot is loosened” and that the worst is passed. Wonderful news! We are definitely smiling with you and your beautiful family. Many prayers have been answered.

September 1, 2010 - 5:32 am

Kathy Luginbuhl - Betsy and Family ~ so very thankful for your good news! truly answered prayer! we continue to pray for you daily for healing, strength and continued faith. Our God is an awesome God!

September 1, 2010 - 6:53 am

Karen - We were glad to hear your good news. Wishing you God’s nearness as you continue
to heal.

September 1, 2010 - 7:15 am

Minna - Beautiful post and video. I too am very thankful for my 4 “built in” best friends. I love you guys very much!!

September 1, 2010 - 1:38 pm

Michelle & Wayne V - Betsy, Paul and Children: We cannot praise the Lord enough for tenderly watching over you and your dear family. Wayne and I rejoice with you all over the fantastic news and pray now the Lord will enfold you with His Love, as Only He Can do, and bring about a healthy recovery. much love to you and the children! :)))

September 11, 2010 - 10:11 am

Sandy - Haven’t visited your site for a bit now ~ so very thankful and grateful for you and yours in hearing of your test results. God is soooo good ~ we need to praise Him in the good and bad. You’re making such wonderful memories for your family as you bare your heart and soul. They’ll never question your love for them. Awesome video as a part of your healing and I would think very therapeutic also. Prayers and much love.

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