Mercy Days (A Post From a Friend)
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
Jeannine SumnersJanuary 18, 2013
I could not sleep the night of January 16th. Will was on my mind and heart. I kept trying to “feel” what it has been like to have this cancer, surgery, pain. I prayed over and over that God would heal all internal damage and give Will and Angie grace, mercy and peace.
Carol & Gordon JohnsonJanuary 17, 2013
Echoing Charlene’s sentiments and sending prayers continually for each of you and those that mean the most to you.
Charlene and Allan DykstraJanuary 17, 2013
I usually try to check for updates quite regularly, but I didn’t see this one until Thursday. It really struck me because in the shower yesterday, I was praying for you both and I just said I don’t even know what to pray…I prayed for complete healing for you Will, I prayed for strength for you both to get through the days, I prayed for God’s grace, and then I asked for His MERCY! You see, I hadn’t even seen the post about a “mercy day” and here I was led to pray for God’s mercy!! It’s just amazing to me to see how the right thoughts and prayers are given to us when we just ask. I am so happy that you had one of those mercy days and now I know to keep praying for more and more! You are both such an inspiration! –Love, Charlene