October 27, 2010


I read an article in this morning's "Dear Abby" about a woman who lost her battle with cancer. During her illness, she faced it head-on, fought it; but she also had enough reality to grasp that she wasn't going to win. So, she loved her family deeply, and she made sure they had memories of the good times...they made sure to celebrate all the holidays to the fullest - even if they weren't on the actual date of the holiday. She wanted one last time to celebrate - for herself and for them - with her loved ones.

It made me tear up. It also made me remember D. D was a loved one; someone with whom I had planned to build many a memory throughout my life. That was before the "C" word struck, and before that same word tore our well-laid plans to shreds.

I spent many an hour with D while he fought valiantly against the horrific illness that took over his body. Crawled up in bed with him while he received Chemo, sat holding his hand and communicating without words when the radiation burned his throat so badly that it was excruciating to talk, and told him how much I loved him - as a friend, as a person, as a man - while he was in a coma a few days before he slipped into eternity.

The thing about D was that, although he knew he wouldn't win this war - the cancer was too insidious - he made sure to LIVE those last few months. He was confined to a wheelchair; the cancer had eaten away at his spinal column, but man! Did he live that life to the fullest. He would pop "wheelies" in parking lots, tell wild stories of his youth, dyed his hair (before the Chemo took it) a different outrageous shade each week, and made sure to tell us loved ones (over, and over, and over) how much he loved us.

His last words to me were how much he loved me. How much he believed in me. How much bigger God's dreams were for me, and how I needed to chase after those dreams with everything in me...never giving up, continuing to put one foot in front of another - even in my exhaustion.

I'm pretty tired right now. Spent. October is a draining month for those of us in education. No breaks, and it's just...LONG. I think God brought me that article this morning just to remind me that life is still GOOD, and that although I'm exhausted, I need to keep putting one foot in front of another. To climb the next hill and to look for the joy in the midst of the pain. Because, there is joy. I just need to remember to find it.


Kari said...

Thanks for that reminder, friend.

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