One of those gifts was time with family. I was able to celebrate both my birthday and that of one of my sisters (3 days apart) with much of my family. What a gift. I don't get to do that very often. (Too bad our brother, whose birthday is the day after mine, was out of town or it could have been a three for one!) While I didn't see my brother or one of my sisters, I did talk with both of them and felt their love. Time with family is truly a blessing. I was even able to celebrate with my 95 year old grandmother. Truly a blessing beyond words.
One special surprise was coming back from a small outing and finding two bouquets of flowers outside my parents' house - one for me and one for my sister. (The one in the picture is mine.) These were sent by a sister and brother-in-law. I am truly blessed.
When I returned to my home, my yard was ready for spring. The spring clean-up had been done by several of my colleagues and members of their families (a total of 6 people, including a former student of mine). Oh, what a gift that was - and is! Every day when I see my yard, I am warmed to the depth of my heart. God has richly blessed me and surrounded me with such a gracious and giving community.
I share a birthday with a colleague. Every year we are assigned birthday buddies, people we get to bless and celebrate on their birthdays. The two of us were assigned to each other, a fact that delighted us all year. Even though I haven't been at work, we still were able to celebrate together. (Truth be told, she blessed and celebrated me more than I was able to for her - but that time will come.) We went for coffee (well, tea for me) and she treated both of us to pedicures. Now, normally I don't get pedicures. Not for any special reason, really, just that I don't bother. And I even chose a colour which, for me, is very bright. And I like it. It was delightful to be pampered and to spend time with her.
The best gift, though, is something that can't be bought. I had an appointment with my doctor and was given the best news ever! The cancer I had removed was completely contained. There is no need for any further treatment other than annual checkups for a couple of years. I am so grateful to God for this result. I know that, with God's help, I could have climbed the mountain of chemo if necessary. But how incredibly wonderful that I don't have to. I have been forever changed. Not a change I would have asked for. But a good change. And now I can move on to the next stage in my journey. Truly a gift without measure.