count – noun | \ˈkau̇nt \

: to add (people or things) together to find the total number
: to say numbers in order
: to include (someone or something) in a total

It’s always about this time every year that I grow wholly grateful for life in ways I wish would stick with me through the year. October is my birth month—a birth so many moons ago I begin to lose track. But October also is my death month. At least that’s the story I thought I was living nine years ago.

It’s not just one day, but a series of days I think back to each year in early October, back to the ER trip, the ambulance ride to a larger hospital, the procedures, the tests, the conversation, the surgery, then home, ten days after it all started. Those days were followed by months of chemotherapy and hospitalizations and radiation and nausea and pain. I felt my life falling apart, and I felt my friends, family, and even strangers desperately trying to hold me together.


And every year after, I keep counting: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and now nine. Nine more years I never thought I would have. See, my statistics were pretty grim, and I had family members and friends reading up on them, but I refused. I didn’t want to know what odds were stacked against me or what rates I was fighting against. At least not until later. I still shudder when I think about the 2-year survival rates for those of us with stage-four serous papillary carcinoma: 17 percent. Yet here I am nine years later.

In the Psalm 90, Moses asks God to help us number our days, and I think counting the days and adding them up into years helps us see God’s hand more clearly and to treasure his blessings. But the reason we need to number our days, Moses says, is so we can present to him our hearts of wisdom. And that makes me think that the greater task is not counting our days but making our days count, whether we have 9 years or 90.

“O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days,” Moses says. And I shout along with the amens and hallelujahs.

What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you.

Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online. Photo by molybdena via Flickr, used with permission under the Creative Commons License.


~ One word a week for one year; one life changed forever. ~

My Year in Words walks through a year in the life of author Charity Singleton Craig as she reflected on one word each week.

“It seemed like such an ordinary year at the time. If I hadn’t been recording it along the way, we might have missed it. My Year in Words is significant because I paid attention, I kept track, and I wrote it down.”

~ What are you missing by not doing these things? ~