Ok, some of you know I recently had surgery to remove my thyroid - all of it - due to concerns about cancer. Again, THANK YOU to everyone who sent prayers and wishes my way over that. It's been probably as much pain as I have ever encountered, but things are all a go now and looking good. Apparently I've survived cancer #4 now. I think. Final word on that will be next week, once all the post-surgery biopsies and such are completed, but things look good as of now. Anyways, on to another story - a short one, promise: The night before the surgery, I wasn't sleeping (of course) and I stepped outside to do what rednecks do out here in the country - namely, take a wizz. There's a small retaining wall made of old railroad ties next to my garage that the dog and I wander out to to do our thing late at night. I stand on top of it, do my thing and gaze up at the huge sky to the west (I can see hundreds of miles to the north and west from up here on the ridge). The sky was clear and the north star is really bright this time of year. I saw that star and did something I never do - I asked God for a little help in the morning surgery to come, if He had the time and it was ok and all.... Surgery happens the next morning at 10am and by 2pm, I'm in recovery. Painful, G-d-awful painful to come out of that. Two hours after that, I'm changing into my sneakers and shorts and I'm walking, against all the nurses' orders and to the chagrin of my wife, them all barking at me. I just knew I HAD to get up. Always, always get back up. Prime Directive. Back home and recovering, being told to do nothing and ignoring that shiyat…. Last night for the first time since I got back home, the dog and I wander out to that retaining wall to do our late night whizzing ritual. I look up and the sky is pretty clear and there's the north star, just like before. I take a moment to thank Him for getting me through all that hell in one piece. There's just one lonely, dark cloud due west of us, remnant of a storm going down the next valley over. When everything got real quiet, I looked up and saw the north star and remembered to thank Him, I figured that was the end of it. I was wrong. Exactly when I said "thank you", that lonely cloud let go a lightning bolt internally. It didn't strike down to the ground, just lit up that cloud beautifully. He was saying "you're welcome". I chuckled and said "show off". He and I have that sort of thing going on. He has a sharp sense of humor. He's GOT to. I mean, I'm still here after 4 cancers, 3 times flatlined, all that crap, right? Right.