A message from Don and Cheryl Greco:
Cancer to COVID
A Journey to Peace
As many of you know, the past two years have been something of a challenge for the Greco's. Between us, Cheryl and I have dealt with cancer, spinal fusions, crippling nerve damage, and a knee replacement, not to mention another impending spinal surgery. COVID 19 has been the proverbial icing on the cake.
This all sounds pretty rough, and certainly there were challenging moments. Nevertheless, I would not trade the blessings we experienced during that time for all the gold in the Sunday collection plate. I have been extremely fortunate and, except for a pesky retinal disease diagnosed in my fifties, I have had no major health issues until two years ago, and to be truthful, I cringed in fear at the thought of ever being hospitalized for a major illness.
Looking back now, I need not have worried. Although I was very anxious about the results of my biopsy, a certain peace came over me when the urologist delivered the bad news, I had cancer. Now since I am a card carrying coward, the peace and calm I experienced must have come from above. That calm remained with me through radiation treatments, spinal surgery, and a year and a half of therapy to restore function to a damaged femoral nerve that tied me to an easy chair and a walker. The coward in me was quiet through it all.
For a while both Cheryl, who urgently needed a knee replacement, and I were limited in our abilities to care for each other. We had to live separately with relatives while she recuperated from her surgery. For the first time in our lives, we were almost totally dependent on others. This was a real lesson in humility, but humility can provide its own longer perspective and insight.
Looking back on all this, two words come to mind-God and neighbor. God's love poured down on us through others: doctors, surgeons, radiation techs, physical therapists, relatives, friends, and especially our loving family from St. Augustine Episcopal Church. Because of you we were fed, carted to physical therapy and hospitals, and otherwise showered with prayers, encouragement, and good wishes. Vestry members picked up my slack with regard to my vestry responsibilities. Fr. A.J. and lay ministers brought us the Eucharist and checked on our spiritual needs. Amazingly, with the advent of COVID, you are continuing to care for us and others who are in the high risk category. I am astounded at the extent to which God works through our parishioners. I have never experienced anything like it. I wish I could brag about how I bravely struggled to beat cancer, and learned to walk again, if ever so clumsily. The actual truth is that I didn't struggle at all. Healing came to me on a silver platter, a platter filled with the help, blessings, and prayers from all of you.
As COVID does its dance, Cheryl and I wish you "seven times seven" the peace and trust God gave to us through your loving care. God is among us and He isn't going anywhere. Let's all take time to count our blessings and breathe. We have a loving God and each other. Cheryl and I send our love, our prayers, and our deepest gratitude to each of you, God bless and keep you safe through COVID and beyond!