In this highly personal column, Beliefnet's inspiration columnist Bob Perks writes about his wife's recent diagnosis. Please join Beliefnet in keeping Bob and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

It had been a long difficult week. Like sitting next to a time bomb, praying that it would never go off. Seconds churned slowly, painfully like dripping acid on my mind. Hours seemed like days until suddenly it was all over.

It was one of those things that seem unreal. Like having a bad dream you hope you'll wake up from, but you don't. I can remember anxiously waiting for the final word and yet, hearing it, I still could not accept it. That is until she turned to me with tears in her eyes, then shaking her head she whispered, "yes."

I had no idea how to react. I stood up and headed to the front door slamming my fist into it screaming, "NO!"

I gazed out my window and the world suddenly turned black.

I could hear her crying as she continued her conversation on the phone. I felt selfish standing there when I needed to be next to her. I returned to the table and sat with my head in my hands, listening as her conversation continued.

When she hung up the phone we embraced, weeping openly, holding, squeezing each other as if never letting go would make it all go away.

The evening was unusually silent. No television to make us laugh or music that normally would lift our souls. Later, trying to fall asleep, we tossed and turned in bed. I felt like I was smothering. I needed to get up periodically to try and catch my breath.

Like clockwork, our two dogs awakened on schedule at 5:00 a.m.

I was eager to get up so I rushed out of the room closing the door so she could sleep a little longer.

The dark days of Autumn found me standing in the spot light at the top of the driveway. Watching the dogs so they didn't run off, I was feeling empty and out of touch with reality.

"Maybe this is a dream," I thought to myself.

Earlier that evening there was a steady, gentle rain. The leaves that longed to let go of the two huge trees just behind our house, had fallen overnight. Ricky and Lucy waded through them like fresh fallen snow.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone standing there.

It startled me.

Up to her ankles, barefoot in yellow and gold leaves stood my wife, Marianne. She was beautifully wrapped in a full white fuzzy robe that draped down to the ground.

She looked like an angel.

We stood a few feet apart just looking at each other, that is until she began to cry again.

It wasn't a dream at all.

This is the most difficult thing for me to write about.

My wife Marianne has...breast cancer.

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