On Tomorrows

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On Tomorrows

On Tomorrows:

The past few weeks brought to me happy days and terrifying days. And in the process, I was reminded not to take tomorrow for granted.

I’ll begin with November 29. The sky was clear, the sun was bright and the rushing crowd was tolerable. The holiday decorations decked the buildings and music filled the air. I strutted two steps ahead of my husband, Robert, down Main Street, USA, Disneyland.

Our destination—Fantasyland.

Robert understands that while I am at Disneyland, I become a child disguised as a grown-up. And that It’s a Small World is my favorite ride. (Note: It is not Robert’s choice ride, but he’s a good sport.) After posing for a photo in front of the Fantasyland castle, Robert and I meandered through the courtyard; passed the carrousel, and eventually reached It’s a Small World. Strollers lined the walkway leading to the ride, but the wait time was relatively short. So within ten minutes, we sat on the front row of a blue boat. Cruising at about two mph, the boat nudged us forward entering the first tunnel. From there, I could hear singing.

Each time, I cruise this magical venue, I become spellbound while listening to pure voices. Children singing a single song translated into many different languages. In the spirit of the Christmas season, on this day, the children sang “Jingle Bells” and a bridge of “Deck the Halls,” and the main theme to, “It’s a Small World.” Slowly, the boat moved me from scene to scene capturing my imagination. I sat speechless as audio-animatronics dolls representing children of the world frolicked in a spirit of unity.

As I gazed from left to right and up, my heart calmed. There was so much to see from the architectural design and lighting perspectives. And so much to hear from the simplicity of blended voices to the enchanted melodies. With blinking eyes, nodding heads, and turned-up mouths, the dolls rehearsed before me how life is meant to be lived—each child created for a unique purpose—capable of bringing peace to his family, friends, city, country, and world.

And for fifteen minutes, I believed that it was a small world after all—that peace on earth reigned. But did I let that peace reign in me?

Soon, the boat exited the last tunnel. It stopped. And I stepped onto the platform. While I walked away, the message of peace clamored to hold my attention . . . But there was not enough time to reflect. After leaving Fantasyland, Robert and I visited Adventureland, Frontierland and Tomorrowland. Indeed, it was a happy day. A day that quasi prepared me to face December 6.

On that day, Robert waited for me. He sat in our car outside a medical building in Encinitas. And I could not escape the gynecology suite fast enough. Tears clouded my vision as I shuffled through a maze of halls; with what felt like weights tied to my legs. Once I made it outdoors; dark clouds greeted me.

Grey. Everywhere I glimpsed turned a shade of grey. Including my future.

As I approached the car, and opened the passenger side door, I opened my mouth. Words failed me. I choked on the lump creeping up my throat. Then I drew in a breath. I dreaded telling Robert. But I spit the words from my mouth. “A biopsy. Another biopsy!”

He nodded. I noticed him swallow hard as I crawled into the car, and leaned nearer to him to fasten my seatbelt. He remained quiet, but patted my leg.

For twelve years, I have survived breast cancer. Sometimes, I wonder if I am stuck in denial; subconsciously believing cancer doesn’t dare strike me again. I wish I could tell you that the ‘C’ word is just another word in my vocabulary. That it’s not the word that cuts like a dagger into the core of my being. But I can’t lie to you, or to myself. Cancer is just as terrifying to me today as it was yesterday. Probably more so.

On December 6, before I left the doctor’s office, I was told a surgery coordinator would contact the hospital to schedule a Hysteroscopy and D&C for the Monday before Christmas. My symptoms included post menopausal bleeding and endometrial lining thickening. The doctor needed to rule out uterine cancer.

Once back at home in my condo, I resumed my usual activities while I waited to have the surgery. Then after the surgery, I waited for the biopsy results.

Day after day, I waited.

But I decided not to dwell on the unknown. I asked God to provide for me His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). And with my family and friends praying for me, I went about the busyness of the season. I decided that once I received the factual biopsy results, I would deal with reality. Meanwhile I believed that God wanted me to choose His peace, and for me to dwell on the fact that He is good all the time. Yes, all the time, He is good. (And to me that does not mean that God always gives me what I hope or ask for. I simply believe He is good all the time, regardless of my circumstances.)

Lastly, I sensed He wanted me to celebrate one day at a time—one sunset at a time.

On earth, no doubt, I will experience happy days and terrifying days. I can’t always control my days. Nor do I know about tomorrow. What I can control is how I think? Am I consumed with negativity? Or do I dwell on Him? And as His adopted child, do I listen to the melody of Peace singing within me?

On December 22, I heard my surgeon say, “Tomi, It’s benign.” And that simple fact sang to the depth of my being. The Disney dolls were not singing to me. But I felt as if God’s angels were. Suddenly, my future lost the shades of grey.

I grabbed my jacket and walked out my condo front door. As I headed toward the nearby beach, the sky turned to vivid pinks . . . I walked faster. I didn’t want to miss the sun. I quickly turned the corner and darted down the steps leading to the sand. And with a grateful heart, I gazed at the setting sun.

I paused.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NASB).

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