Thankful for the Light

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  The Ginleys are scattered across the country….Jerry and I are in Houston, Erin and her gang are in Atlanta, and Sean is in Cleveland.  And my brother and sisters are also scattered.  My sister, Kim, commented yesterday that this might be the first Thanksgiving since Eileen was born when not one sibling will be sitting down for turkey with another one.  Usually at least a few of us manage to gather for the day.

Hoping that all of you are gathered with loved ones who made their journeys safely.  We’ll be with Chris and Jackie in Katy, Texas.  How lucky are we to have family here!

So much to be thankful for…and I am so aware of it.  Right now, I’m just so thankful for all of you who are with me every step of the way on this journey.


Cooking Anne’s birthday dinner last night. Please note…I am not so pathetic that I can’t cook!

When Sean was little, he LOVED tunnels.  There were an underpass on Riverdale Road in West Springfield that he was crazy about.  From the backseat, he couldn’t see the other side and so it was DARK in there ..even if it was only for a few seconds.

When we went to the Outer Banks for vacation for the first time, Sean was probably around five or six.  We told him we were going across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel …two tunnels, each a mile long and a long bridge in the middle.  He was so excited he was beside himself.  I know he was imagining this endless darkness and finally coming out the other end.

What a disappointment.  The tunnel was well lit.  He said it wasn’t even a real tunnel.  Real tunnels are DARK.

I was thinking about that this week when I thought about the title of this blog.  I called it Looking for the Light for lots of reasons.  I think of light as healing.  I think of light as understanding.  I think of light as warmth and wholeness and goodness.  I think of the inner light inside each of us.  And, of course, I think of the light at the end of this cancer tunnel.

But, like our tunnels on the way to the Outer Banks, this tunnel hasn’t been dark.  The light is constant and steady…in the warm wishes from friends and family, in the company of children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, in the little things like a massage from seven year old Lana or food offerings from three year old Declan or advice on wigs from Calli.  It comes from a sister and brother in law who have made us really feel as if “mi casa es su casa”.  It comes from doctors and nurses and technicians and physician’s assistants who are so helpful and patient with all my questions. (even if they all do look like they are about fifteen)  It comes from cards and books and a big box of bling from my Dining for Women friends.  It comes from a husband who doesn’t roll his eyes or sigh or even lose his cool when the traffic is horrendous and we’re late for an appointment.  Yep, the light is IN the tunnel.  Lucky me. Not the six year old Sean’s kind of tunnel but it suits me just fine.

The days ahead look pretty quiet.  We need to get into MD Anderson either Friday or Saturday to have the dressing changed on my PICC line  And then next Thursday I have a prep appointment and blood draw, Friday is minor surgery to put in a port (easier to manage than a PICC line) and then chemo on Saturday.  Then (yay) home on Sunday.


19 thoughts on “Thankful for the Light

  1. Beautiful words…obviously from the heart! You are well loved….& you appreciate it. What gifts!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Happy Thanksgiving friend!
    Enjoy your day and stay in the light!


    Enjoy the day, and all the good things that the season brings. Love, Marie (I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t comment on how good you look ((as usual!)) and what a great pan Anne owns!) The dinner in it also looks good.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Mary and Jerry! Just read your blog to Ernie and when I finished (with tears in my eyes) he said, “What a good writer she is!”. Thanks to you for keeping us all so close. Looking so forward to your home visit. Love, Martha.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving, Mary…I am grateful for your spirit and hope. Hope the next few steps go well. Lots of love!

  7. Deirdre Christman

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mary! I count you among my many blessings and hope to be one small bulb that illuminates your tunnel as you travel on your journey to renewed health. I love your blog and always read it at least twice. I want to absorb your grace and power. Love you.

  8. The light keeps shining from you and gives us strength, hope, and belief. You are an inspiration to all! Just read your recent blog to Rob – you teach so many without knowing it. (He said, “She is a very religious person.”). “That she is!” I said. I want an autographed book as soon as it is published.. Keep writing! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  9. Turkey in the oven; children running around since five am; company coming to enjoy the day our daughter is graciously hosting; sun is shining; it’s 10:30 and must be time for wine!
    It’s also time to be thankful for friends near and far but always in our hearts. Thinking of you Mary as you travel through this tunnel filled with the light provided by family and friends. Definite reasons to be thankful.

  10. Mary, I am thankful that you are my friend! I am blessed to be with many family members today. My sister Anne remembers our family circles at Sunday visit days so long ago. How many years…? Keep moving in the light. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  11. Dear, dear Mary. Ditto to all of the above, and probably below as well. Everyone writes all that I feel – grateful for your friendship, grateful for your spirit, grateful for your shining light. And not just on Thanksgiving, but every day. You’re a terrific writer and yes, I’m waiting for the book too – want an autographed copy from the tour! Lots of love to you and yours, Shirley

  12. kathleen sullivan

    Hey, there, Mary and Jerry..happy thanksgiving to you also….sitting here at Einstein bagels – one of my favorite haunts….love these folks and of course their bagels..just finished writing my 10 “gratefuls” and you were there….sounds like you are embracing the day… I’m with you, girlfriend, about the healing power of light…that’s why winter is so hard at times.. After bagel will write my Christmas letter..what better time than when counting my blessings.. LOL…..means whatever you want….laugh out loud to lots of love

    Sent from my iPad


  13. I too am thankful, Mary. I understand how important family and friends are to you, especially now. I am thankful every day because God has given me the gift of another day to do some good. Light is healing and comfort-that’s why we moved to the Sunshine State. No more dark cloudy, dreary days, or dark tunnels. You will be glad to have the port, Mary. It makes things much easier and it won’t bother you. I still have mine and nobody knows the difference. I just have to get it flushed every 6-8 weeks-takes 5 minutes. No biggie at all. Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Hi mary,
    Happy Thanksgiving to you too! As I read your blog on this Thanksgiving I wonder how I would be handling it all if it happened to me. I hope I would have the faith and grace that you have. Even in the midst of life not always being what we would want we all have much to be thankful for,
    Have a happy day!

  15. Ahhh…The true meaning of Thanksgiving!!! Have a happy one.

  16. You have forgotten one more interpretation of light. That is the light you bring to us, your readers, by sharing this journey. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well. Tori

  17. Mary…not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and the journey that you are on. Your spirit shines each time you share your thoughts and life with all of us…always the glass of life is half full when you write the words. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the rest of your family.

  18. Mary…not a day goes by that I don’t think about you or the journey that you are on. Your words are your light…always seeing life’s glass as half full. Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. What a wonderful interpretation Mary. I hate tunnels, so I am now happy to have this metaphor to get me through them! and you will get through this tunnel safely and in full health…I just know it.
    Happy thanksgiving and a healing Advent season xo

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