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Friday the 13th

Don's Journey

Gail and I just arrived home from her second chemotherapy treatment. This one took less time than last week’s treatment – only four hours. I’m not superstitious, but this is supposed to be a day for bad luck. So far, we’ve beat the odds.

After spending a few days alone together, Gail and I arrived home late yesterday afternoon and Gail decided to attend worship practice, but she questioned, “Should I still attend tonight and try to help lead on Sunday? What if I become ill from the chemo treatment this weekend and can’t make it?” There was not much deliberation. I said, “So how is that different than any other band member falling ill and not being able to make it on Sunday, you need to go.” She loves music and worship and has been leading at our church for nearly thirty-four years. She had a great time, and perhaps set a good example of handling this illness well. She doesn’t think that you should stop doing everything you love because of cancer. Keep at it as long as your strength remains.

I had the pleasure of quietly cleaning house, something I actually enjoy doing most of the time. I know, it’s weird. Most of my “job” is not precise. Leadership and speaking is as much art as it is science. One does not always walk away with an immediate knowledge of the effectiveness of these activities. But, when I clean a floor or dust a table, it’s either clean or it’s not. I like the feeling when I look across our kitchen floor and it’s shining because of my labor for the last hour or so.

I also had the opportunity to prepare paint supplies and tools for a group of folks from my daughter’s church, Mosaic Christian Church, in Baltimore. Today, Friday the 13th, they decided to give up a day, travel an hour and a half to our home, and paint most of our downstairs, which badly needed it. I had trouble saying yes to this offer. Gail and I are not used to having others do home projects for us. We figure we should do our own painting and fixing up. But this is a little different. Andrea pretty much insisted that we let this group of friends help us.

So, we came home to a “new” house. I am reminded of how much the earliest church in Jerusalem was known for helping each other out in times of need. We didn’t expect it to happen to us in this manner, but this act of love is sure beating the "Friday the 13th" odds. I think God, working through His church, is stronger than any superstition.

Gail was also served by the coolest nurse today. When she walked into the room, she told Gail, “So, I’ve heard you’re the twenty-four-year-old I’ll be taking care of today! You’re sure making me look bad and I’m a lot younger!” She was a joy. It is hard to believe how much someone’s attitude and kindness changes a "Friday the 13th" kind of day.

But then I was forced to get in touch with my feminine side. A lady stuck her head in the room and asked if we would like for her to lead us in some “Movement Therapy.” She explained that she would lead us in some light dance/yoga type moves set to music. She said it often lightens the situation for many folks and she would leave whenever we liked. She also indicated that we would all participate with the patient. “Yeah, right. The name Don Hamilton and dance or yoga should not be spoken in the same sentence.” But this was Gail’s show, so she got to choose. You know what she chose. For the next fifteen minutes, the five of us were led to heights of ecstasy, or I should say laughter as we attempted these not so graceful moves. She had not lied to us. The room was brighter when she left and we discussed how many people must turn her down and miss out on this hilarious blessing. No Friday the 13th in this room.

Now we’re sitting upstairs together on our bed while the painting goes on downstairs. Gail is not feeling too badly at this point, and our grandson will be here in a while to bring the fun level up yet a few more notches in this household. We’re reading the prayers and well-wishes of our friends on Gail’s Facebook page and experiencing the fact that, with God, any kind of day is redeemable. Thank you Lord and thank you to all of you who are praying for a miracle and standing by us.