Five days after Will began radiation, my husband Josh and I had the privilege of delivering a stack of mail to Will and Angie.
Before we stopped over, we checked in with Angie. According to her, it was a “good day” for Will.
Having had the privilege of living close by, Josh and I have seen Will in all sorts of different states, pre-pain meds, pre-surgery, post-surgery, in pain, sick, etc.. Because of that, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this “good day.” (Is anything cancer-related ever “good”?)
Nonetheless, we were desperate to say hello and deliver all your kind packages and letters. When we arrived, Will was sitting in the middle of the living room, upright, chatting with a group of friends. One who was staying with Will & Angie to help out, the others who had just delivered a homemade meal and a few other necessities. There were smiles and laughter, and my heart felt at ease.
Much to my surprise, Will “lept” (as much as one can leap when one is still under the auspices of various pain and infection medications) up to greet us. He embraced us both with a big hug and the classic Will Gray hospitality.
He was happy to see us.
And we, let me tell you, were thrilled to see him. Especially since this was the spirited Will we all know and love dearly, the Will that cancer has threatened to steal, but Will has refused to let go.
Cancer is ugly, and there have been times throughout this process that standing by as a friend has been utterly heartbreaking. The mask of cancer can sometimes conceal the person you know so well — With Will, though, his spirit has always radiated through, even when the stress on his body hampered his ability to communicate at times.
We quickly sat down, watched Will, Angie, and their gracious caregiving friend dig into the hot lasagna the other couple had just delivered.
It was at that point that Angie commented on how it’s been a good day.
And their wise friend quickly added, “It’s that Mercy Day we’ve been praying for.”
That statement stuck with me through the night, as we all told stories and laughed. We acknowledged the absurdity of “having cancer” and sympathized with the ever-growing frustrations of “treating” cancer. We joked, we caught up, we felt…normal.
Yes, Will did have a few minutes of heavy sighs. Yes, Angie had to interrupt a string of jokes to remind Will to take his pain medication. Yes, we did need to cut the evening short because we didn’t want to wear Will out.
But you know what, it was a true Mercy Day.
It was exactly the day Will and Angie needed to continue this raging battle against an ugly, disgusting disease. It was a rainbow in the storm.
And for me, someone who considers both Will and Angie ridiculously important to my life, I am absolutely grateful that I had a first-hand experience with one of these Mercy Days.
As I drove home, I couldn’t help but blurt out loud at the corner of Sepulveda and Ventura, “God, more of these days for them, please.”
May God continue to bring these Mercy Days to the Gray home, especially during the stormy days of radiation and chemo.
And may these Mercy Days soon outweigh the stormy ones, as we all pray for the storm to give way to the rainbow.
Allison and the #GoTeamGray Core