It was eight years ago today—April 11, 2011—when my life’s journey took a turn. This was the day when I had brain surgery to remove a ginormous tumor from the front-top quadrant of my brain.
After that, life changed. Days of running up and down steps with ease were gone forever. Forgetting how to say words became commonplace. Putting together jigsaw puzzles with my husband was a thing of the past. One look at them made me anxious. Weakness on my entire right side has never left me. I don’t know if that was from the surgery or becoming paralyzed from the grand mal seizure I had on April 1st. But that seizure—while traumatic—was the reason they found the tumor. That’s why they decided to do an MRI of my head.
But nonetheless, I am celebrating. Why? Because I know that each moment since that surgery has been a gift.
The doctors were clear—they could not give me any guarantees that I’d survive the delicate and lengthy operation. They had to cut my skull open and remove and try to replace a sizable section of bone to get to the tumor. Then there was therapy: physical, occupational, and speech. I worked diligently for months with therapists who encouraged me to do the simplest of tasks: walking without assistance, standing and not losing my balance, learning to pick up coins one at a time, and repeating words and phrases after they were said to me.
But I celebrate because God was with me every step of the way, and I’ve tried to never take life for granted again.
“ …‘you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:13-14 NIV
Feel that? It’s your heart beating. It could stop at any time, but instead, it keeps on going. Not because of anything you’re doing, but because it’s God’s gift to you.
So celebrate with me. I’ve had seven years of appreciating and trusting God’s gift of a day—one at a time. Let’s celebrate yours.
Robin speaks to women’s groups on trusting God through adversity. She’s also written a book, “It Started with a Brain Tumor” recounting a life filled with scars, yet a life lived under the watchful eye of a loving and non-intrusive Heavenly Father. Watch for it!