September is a special month for me. Both my husband and I celebrate our birthdays. It’s the start of all the gorges fall colors, here in Illinois. Sweatshirts will soon come out of their summer boxes. I love sweatshirts….strange as it may sound. They are comforting. School starts back, which when my son was little was a blessing. Goodness, there are so many reasons.

But there is one reason in particular. Spider’s! Yes, I said spider’s. To me spider’s are good luck. Now wait, I know there are many who have, what do they call that, arachnophobia…..not me, spider’s have a special place in my heart.

c890b7c4e20022e0c81018364cae5727In the summer of 2003 a spider suddenly appeared outside our bedroom window. I have a flower box in the window and it was colorfully planted that year in red and white impatiens flowers. One summer morning I opened the shade and there was a spider sitting in the center of a beautiful web. She had carefully spun her web from each side of the window, and down into the flower box. It was HUGH, and so was she! I was very glad she was OUTSIDE!

All summer MacGyver (hubby) and I watched her. When I watered the flower box’s I tried very hard not to disturbed the web but often it got tore, and the next morning there she was, web beautiful constructed back again. She became part of the family that summer, and we enjoyed watching her…… through the window!

In late August of that summer, MacGyver was bitten by something while doing some clean-up at a historical site in southern Illinois. He did not see “the spider” but after a trip to our physician it was diagnosed as a spider bite. While there the Doctor suggested that MacGyver have a colonoscopy, since he would be turning 50 in a few weeks. We knew, for him, a colonoscopy was very important. His father had recently passed away after being diagnosed with colon cancer in July of 2000.

The test was scheduled with Doctor U, who cared for my father-in-law during his battle with cancer. He was very insistent that each of the boys, MacGyver is the oldest of three boys, have a colonoscopy done at age 50. The test was done on Tuesday, September 9, 2003, just three days before MacGyver’s 50th birthday.

At 10:00 a.m. that September morning our lives were forever changed by one sentence. We have found cancer. As MacGyver and I drove home that morning I cannot even explain all the emotions that we were experiencing, I am tearful as I write these words, just remembering the events.

But, as the days and weeks went by, that September we were strangely comforted by that spider who had made her web outside our bedroom window. Every morning I would open the blinds and there she was in the center of this magnificently crafted web. I confess that several times I removed the web, but each morning it would be careful crafted back, as if nothing had ever disturbed it. We decided that perhaps that spider was in fact a sign.

If MacGyver had not been bitten by a spider we may never have found the cancer as soon as we did. Even with a stern warning by Doctor U about having the colonoscopy I doubt we would have scheduled a colonoscopy that early. I learned that no matter what happens things can be rebuilt, and often much to our surprise…… better then before.

This September will mark MacGyver’s six year cancer free! Having made it through chemotherapy, radiation and two surgeries….WE will always be so very thankful for that spider……. bite! It saved his life.This year we have a new spider. She is in my flower boxes in the front room window. I’m glad she is there.

Just a simple reminder that everyday is truly a gift!



  1. That’s a lovely story, Mari. There’s another thing about that spider, too. No matter what disasters and mishaps befell her she always just repaired, patiently made everything beautiful again and got on with her life. That’s an admirable quality – I could learn from that … I can admire the quality and am happy for the spiders in my garden to do their thing – but I’m still not happy looking at them or having them set up home inside the house! I’m so pleased that your story had a happy ending and that your husband has been cancer free and healthy ever since. … And my birthday’s in September too!

    1. Yes, I like looking at them through the window too. But, the lesson was awsome! So, when I see one it’s a reminder. Your B-day is the day before MacGyver’s. I love Septemeber! and next month on the 15th we will be married 30+ years! 🙂

  2. Sweetie that’s one beautiful story but I still hate spiders, sorry. They scare the dickens outta me. Been puttin’ off that colonoscopy too and my stepmother just died from colon cancer – Devoted Spouse has had his, I just keep putting it off coz I’m scared to death of the procedure – silly me. I promise to schedule it in the near future after reading your story. Love ya, mean it.

  3. What a lovely story, I am so glad the cancer was found and cured. It’s quite strange sometimes how things work themselves out.

    I must admit that although I would never harm a spider or any living thing for that matter I am rather afraid of them (to put it mildly).

    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog.

    Take care,

    1. I don’t like them in the house. It’s OK if they are outside and I’m watching them through the window:)
      Enjoyed your site. There are so many awsome site’s out there! I wish I was that creative.
      Hope you come back, real soon!

    1. That makes perfect sense. Sometimes all we need to do is step back and LOOK at things around us. They may seem unrelated, but in fact they hold a meaning. There have been many of those “unrelated things suddenly relate” things during this long walk. I hope to share more.

  4. I happened on your blog post when I was searching for things about turning 50. I loved this post. My husband was unexpectedly (a ‘Happy Birthday, you’re over 50″ colonoscopy ordered by his doctor) diagnosed with rectal cancer just over 2 years ago. Our lives changed so dramatically, so quickly, and I’m still adjusting to those changes. I remember finding so much comfort and so many signs of hope in nature that fall as we dealt with his surgery and chemotherapy. I really enjoyed reading your post and the hopeful thought of my husband hitting that six year mark in the future.

    1. NEVER, NEVER lose that thought! Thank you for your kind comments and I hope to share more of our story. Our thoughts and prayer are with you and yours!

  5. Mari – A very touching story. Blue Eyes is a 20-year cancer survivor. It was a backache that prompted treatment and ultimately saved his life. You are so right…each and every day is a blessing.

    1. Oh…it’s so nice to hear that!
      20 years!
      WOW…..Blessing to you and yours.
      Thanks for the sweet comments they are appreciated. Really! You know what a struggle it is.

  6. Mari,

    What a very touching story!
    I am glad that MacGyver has been in remission for so long. Amazing!

    We have a garden spider outside the front door. It is beautiful and he’s very welcome ‘in the garden’! *smile*

    In the other rose garden, a spider in it’s web was ‘wrapping’ up dinner and dinner was still alive….EeewwwwWW!!!
    I know that they are good for our gardens but they sure have some very graphic eating habits.

    I am not fond of spiders inside the house though. They seem to have no interest in the alligator size water bugs that try to winter in here.
    No kill water bugs, no spidie! *smile*

    God Bless, Mari
    Love, Becci Sue

    1. Thanks for stoping by, Becci!
      Well, I understand about those WATER BUGS, we lived in New Orleans for 5 years. WOW….I never liked those big things! How was the garden this year? Judi has been sharing her tomatoe’s, good eats.
      I love the south. Perhaps someday we can visit!
      Blessing to you as well!

      1. Hi M!

        The garden is doing great with the roses, but the azaleas didn’t bloom well this year because of the late frost we had. ‘bummer’
        Thanks for asking Mari!

        I tried to grow a veggie garden a couple of times but I had no luck. Picture a carrot, a corn cob & each radish (red and white).
        Come harvest time, the carrot was the biggest one of all.
        It was the size of my little finger and that includes the root! *smile*
        I guess they weren’t in the right spot at the right time.

        But I have a green thumb with flowers and trees. *smile*

        Hey Mari,
        Welcome to the South! You and MacGyver are always welcome.
        We are very accomidating! Ask any family member! *smile*

        Thanks Mari for the forgiveness!!! *happy dance*
        God Bless!
        Becci Sue

  7. wow!!! what an amazing story! there are lot of spiders hanging around the new house. i’m going to think of them as good luck too. 🙂

    congrats to your husband on being cancer free for 6 years!!

    1. Leah! So nice of you to stop by. I’m so excited about joining your little group! Your work is amazing! Thank you, from us both on the congrats! It’s been a LONG 6 years, and every year that goes by cancer free is truly a gift! Hope the move went well!

  8. That brought a tear to my eye Mari – very well written. And Yes, I would say spiders are lucky for you and Mac. Thank you spider for keeping Mac with us. THINGS do happen for a reason.

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