Finding courage beneath the sword

Tonight has been tough...with uncertainty and reality that I rarely let sneak into my life. Another friend has gained his wings. Katherine is in the final days, if not hours before receiving hers, and too many friends have slipped from earth into heaven these past few months. I think of Tony Snow and his wise words to me, "...we will move on, leaving behind people we love dearly, and whom we would spare the pain of bereavement if we could. But we also know that God and a whole lot of our friends and loved ones are on the other side, waiting eagerly to welcome us home." I breathe deep and grasp these words for courage, finding a whisper of comfort.Yet the Sword of Damocles' hangs over head. Destruction is only a hair's breadth away and even as the beauty of family surrounds me, I know that the sword remains. Thurgood Marshall once wrote, "That the value of a sword of Damocles is that it hangs - not that it drops." It is a reality that sobers, but perhaps is no different for the next healthy person than it is for me.I searched for answers of how to defy the threat of the sword. Tomorrow, I receive another chemo treatment and scramble to show gratitude. I remind myself that I am thankful that I'm still here to experience another treatment. Grateful that I've held my family close, that I am surrounded by wonderful friends, that we've lived dreams that many never see, that I've enjoyed special times with my girls, and the fortune that every day is a rocking chair day with Ronnie. My life is rich every night, but especially so tonight. That's all that any of us have. This breath. This heartbeat. The miracle of this moment gives strength to the strand of hair that holds my fate. Even beneath the sword; faith, hope, and love remain.