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It’s a Piece of Cake

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The matter-of-fact phrase, “It’s a piece of cake,” echoes in my head.

This sweet cliche is loaded with more meaning than you can imagine. What is it with me and cake? I seem to write about cake (here and here and here) a lot to honor special moments.

I am in complete awe of my husband. This has never been more true than the last 30 or so days. 

This past month and in the days and hours since Jon has been home have given both of us a beautiful understanding of the sanctity of marriage. Perhaps in due time, I will write more on this—in sickness and in health.

Last week after a busy morning of family training for Jon, and a day-long wicked migraine for me, there was a follow-up trip to see the surgeon we last saw ONE month ago. 

I am constantly reflecting on the rapid passage of time. 

So much change, so much uncertainty. 

So many challenges, So much progress, so many milestones. 

So much grace and mercy.

So much living our Liturgy of One Day at a Time with a few patient pauses along the way.

We waited with expectation and anticipation of how the follow-up doc conversation would, could, and should go. Jon’s year has been astounding, even when we hit some bumpy terrain with this recent surgery. 

The doctor begins by asking Jon how things were going as he was meeting milestones and getting stronger.

Jon’s slow, thoughtful, yet immediate reply was, “It’s a piece of cake.”

I smile behind my mask with so much joy for this determined fighter sitting next to me.

The doctor repeats the phrase in a queried voice, and his curious eyes dart toward me.

“A piece of cake? Huh. Huh?”

And then looks at me with an expression that tells me he wonders if Jon is being sarcastic.

I shake my head and affirm with my eyes. 

Yep, this has been his attitude. He’s worked hard every day, and Jon’s team has watched as he’s moved in the right direction with laughter and determination, determination and laughter, and NOT A SINGLE complaint. 

It was a piece of cake, not in the sense that it was effortless. Attitude is everything, as is perspective and acceptance, and determination. Those traits are all ingredients to that piece of cake.

I know this surgeon wonders about both of us. I told him I believed in miracles in July of 2020, right after Jon’s first surgery. He paused when I said that back then. Here we are (a miracle in itself) over a year later, AND Jon declares it’s a piece of cake about some of THE HARDEST days of his life. 

Once again, the doc pauses and ponders (I see it in his eyes) our responses that focus on hope and faith. It’s a choice. 

On the eve of Jon’s discharge day, Jon delighted his team and me by sharing a video recording where he serenaded me. It was performance day, I was told. And for sure, Jon performed.

With the musician playing the guitar, Jon sang, “My girl, My girl, talking about my girl” but inserted “Heather” for “my girl” many times. 

Jon is not usually afraid to hold the floor, especially if he is sharing a funny joke. Still, he doesn’t take kindly singing in front of others, much less serenade me unless we are driving in the car piping out tunes. Just us and 30 years of listening to music while sitting in the car or dancing in our kitchen with the kids singing songs of love and joy. So many lyrics that have carried us through our life together.

But at this moment, I watched the recording of Jon’s sweet little song performance with his care team standing by with arms wrapped around me, laughing and weeping with me too.

“The Lord your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.”-Zeph 3:17 

Tears of joy. 

I love this man.  

I love his heart. 

I love his determination. 

I love that his spirit is so contagious that he sets an example that the surgeon says again, you are the model patient. I love that the surgeon says, “if anyone can say it’s a piece of cake, it’s you Jon.” 

I love that the last doc who had to check in on him before discharge says, “I hear you are going home tomorrow (big smiles) And Jon, so long as your take home that attitude and your wife—she has been amazing in helping you. I have no doubt you will do amazing things.”

Humbly, I tell the doc, “I’m hardly amazing, but who couldn’t use that vote of confidence right now?”

Praise the Lord, Jon is home.

There will be challenges. 

There will be adjustments. 

There will be frustrations. 

There will be mistakes.

There will be joy.

There will be a shameless refusal to quit—that’s courage and strength.

“Take courage, get up. Jesus is calling you.”-Mark 10:49 Some words specific to courage and strength might be coming soon. 

There will be patient pauses.

There will be many slow, deep inhales and long prayerful exhales.

There will be surrender. 

There will be laughter. If only I could share glimpses into the nonstop laughter this past month. I keep thinking of the faces on a family FaceTime chat. This is Jon’s motivation and joy right here.

There will be unconditional love.

There will be hard and holy work.

We will embrace all the love and laughter there is to be had in this house. 

Thank you for continuing to paddle the boat with us.

Thank you for carrying the cross with us. Did you know the wound on Jesus’ shoulder from carrying the cross is said to be his most painful wound? 

And thank you for continuing to be our prayer warriors. We are strengthened and encouraged by them.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Thank you to those who have sent beautiful gifts and treats, and treasures. 

Thank you for loving us so well.

The last month has been a blur and a lot of hard and holy work.

For now, rest is necessary to heal and restore. 

Our college kids are home for fall break and a bit of Halloween fun. I’d say that is divinely inspired and impeccable timing—a perfect remedy for healing for the heart and soul. 

We have lots to catch up on restorative sleep, long conversations, piles of laundry, endless infectious laughter, delicious eats, more and more deep sleep.

But first, we’ll eat a piece of cake.

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