Easter was always my favorite holiday. It wasn’t just about my faith the Christ arose from the dead, but I saw Easter as the point when things start coming back to life. Spring is right around the corner and there will be new beginnings. Easter was a time for rebirth and reshaping my life and trying to stick to the resolutions I tried to hold myself to. Easter of 2007 would be no different. I had just started a new church a few months before. I was excited to share Easter with this church, sing the awesome songs and read a poem I wrote just for the season.
A week before Easter I was admitted to the hospital. I was very sick and had several lumps around my neck and in my chest that I couldn’t explain. I assumed it was swollen lymph nodes because I was sick. When I got to the emergency room I was admitted to the hospital for observation and testing. I waited in the hospital room all week to find out the results of the tests. I was depressed because I was missing communion, but my pastors brought communion to me. The Thursday before Easter, I finally got the results of the numerous tests I had completed. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: cancer. How was I going to be able to enjoy my favorite holiday when I was sicker than I thought when I needed to be careful around people?
After the church service I went to the Alter for prayer and advice of my pastor. To my amazement the entire church stood behind me supporting me and offering their love and prayers. I will always remember that Easter when I stood up and turned around and seen 20-30 some people praying with me and my family. People they didn’t know very well, but they still stood behind us and loved us. I was diagnosed with cancer on my favorite holiday, but what I really got was a chance to renew my faith in people. I was diagnosed with cancer that holiday and I became a new person. I was reborn as Easter meant to me.
I will never look at Easter the same way again. I still see it as the time that Jesus rose from the grave, a time for renewal and rebirth. But it was also the time I was shown the kindness of people and it helped show me the true power of prayer and the meaning of being a church family. Easter is still my favorite holiday despite being diagnosed with an illness that brings fear to everyone’s heart.