Saturday, November 3, 2012

Older and Wiser...

Well, today this girl turns 46.  I’m the baby of the family (I have two older sisters -- but I won’t say how much older).   And it’s weird when the baby is 46 years old.  Yeek.  But I’ll tell you something, given my latest challenge, this girl isn't gonna complain about getting older!  Bring it on!  Wrinkles, double chins, bat wings and all!

I lost one of my best friends at the age of 39.  He was a father to four great kids.  We had grown up next door to each other and had remained great friends for all those years. I loved him dearly.  A few months later, I turned 40.  Friends asked me if I had a problem with turning the big 4-0.  “Nope, grateful to be alive and a Mom,” was my answer.  Forty shmorty.  Numbers mean nothing to me.  In fact, I can never remember how old I am anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. 

So this morning, I woke up and went on a walk with my daughter up to the Coffee Bean.  This old lady is trying desperately to exercise every day and eat better.  Not always successful, but I'm trying.  On the way home, I listened to Pandora.  Know of this?  It’s fantastic!  It’s an app you get on your iphone and once you type in a song you like, it automatically plays other similar songs -- for free!   So Rachel typed in one of my faves, “Who Am I?" by Casting Crowns and then a few songs later, up came “While I'm Waiting“ by John Waller.  I’d never heard of it before.  It’s now my favorite.   Give it a listen.  
The chorus is the best.

And see the picture above?  I took it while walking home.  Two little sticks crossed on the sidewalk to remind me of how much I love the Lord and how much he loves Me.  Too sweet.

So I wanted to share something with you.  
Two days from now will mark my three-year anniversary of living with cancer.  It’s amazing.  It feels as if I’ve had it my whole life, in some weird way.  And I'm so grateful of how things have changed because of this diagnosis.  So grateful.  I wouldn’t take my old life back for nothin’!  

Here's why:

I feel more alive than ever before.  Even though I have toxic medicine running through my veins, I've never felt better. 

 I cry at the drop of a hat.  And rarely tears of sadness.  God’s love and goodness are so clear to me now that it makes me cry like a baby.  In fact, I just recently bought a travel-sized package of Oil of Olay make-up removers to keep in my car because that’s where I do most of my crying.  I have to remove the mascara marks that run through my blush and then reapply it again.  But that’s OK.   

I feel closer to God than ever before.  He has clearly shown His love for me through these challenging days.  That blows me away.  Every. Single. Time.  

I now get what's important and what's not important.  
And for a girl who has wasted her days with unimportance
 (a lot!), I cherish this new life with such a new outlook.

And finally, I begin my days with:

Before cancer, a good day used to be filled with stuff.  Stuff that wasted my time.  Stuff that meant nothing.  Stuff that made me lose sight of what was important.  Now, my days are filled with meaning.  Serving others, helping others.  And growing.  All I want to do is grow in my faith. 

  But please don't read into this that ALL of my days are filled with serving others.  Just ask my husband.  :)

So in closing my post today, I just want to thank all of you for the many birthday texts and emails I have received.  In fact, I just got a phone call a second ago from my favorite florist, The English Garden.  They wanted to schedule a flower delivery for this afternoon.  Be still my heart.  

You guys bless me more than you will ever know. 
And as they say in the South, I love ya’ll!
Oh, and before I forget, we found out last week that my new regimen is working.  My tumor markers are down 50%!


  1. Happy Birthday. When you have had cancer each birthday is a gift. Congratulations on your third year out.

  2. What a touching post! I've never had cancer but I have so, so many friends that have and two that are fighting a tough, tough battle right now. Watching them and walking with them through this journey has taught me so much about life that I never before realized. So happy for your good report and blessings for a wonderful year ahead!

  3. HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!! So glad your cancer is responding to the treatment.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday!! PRAISE God that your tumor markers are down 50% Whoo-hoo!! Rejoicing with you :)

  5. Ruthie, this is the most beautiful blog post that I've ever read. It brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart. Thank your for your example and your courage. What a light you are. Love, susan

  6. Hi Ruthie (Or Miss "Noofie") :)

    I hope you are well! My family thinks of you and speaks of you often (I know we pray for you and yours also.) My grama follows your blog and loves reading it. When you don't post for a while I know she even worries about you.

    My grama mentioned recently that you had written about Pop once and how happy it had made her. I thought you should know how much your words are appreciated and what a gift you have. I miss you and I hope to see you soon.

    Love Hannah Champion