Woman. It is the most breathtakingly STUNNING day here today. A rough start with the rain and wind this a.m. but now….oh. My. Not a cloud in the sky. Nice wind. Hovering on the 70’s….just barely. I can’t think of a better day to celebrate you.
Somehow I managed to make it through with 3 tissues. Your humongous family, your beautiful girls and your brave and valiant husband filing in just made my heart ache. In the same breath, my heart was filled with joy at the sheer numbers present. You seriously made an impression on a lot of people, an indelible print on their hearts. Way cool. What a blessing to call you friend.
Your faith and courage in your fight with Ovarian cancer could not help but to spill over on to everyone you came in contact with. Sharing that faith just came natural and so did encouraging your students and friends to live life to the fullest. Embrace every day and when you introduced Brendan (and our family) to the story of Nick Vujicicyour genuineness and love of God became that much more real.
Thank you for your friendship. It was a true blessing to know you.
A few words from today that I KNOW you’d be shaking your head “YES” to:
You traded earth’s cross for Heaven’s crown. WOW! I just love that. You are free. You are free.
When we let go of fear we step out and grow in faith. Like taking off without training wheels for the first time. May we ALL be propelled to grow in faith by crushing fear with the same German stubborness you had.
Fight the GOOD fight. Life is busy and we get pulled in so many directions. May we all focus on those priorities of living this life and fighting the GOOD fight.
Life is hard. So many people, situations and choices constantly turning us sideways; faith is what guides us through. A beacon of hope. You stayed focused on that faith in God’s plan to the very end. I can think of no better race that was run.
In my job as a CT Technologist I see a LOT of stuff. In my 22 years of working, I’ve learned to compartmentalize in order to keep my sanity. I’ve seen a lot and I see a LOT. The kind of stuff that regularly makes me shut up about my “little problems” and stuff that makes me say, “Gee, those are the same symptoms I’ve been having and holy……..”, stuff that makes me take a little more time with a patient, go the extra mile, give the extra smile and sometimes even the hug (although generally I save those for my 80-somethings who shamelessly flirt with me). You having a bad day? Come hang with me sometime, we’ll put that pity party to bed. Today was another day.
Today, we had a 51-year-old male newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. 51. 51!!!
A 53-year-old woman with a middle schooler and a high schooler with Stage 3 colon cancer.
And this morning, I learned that a sweet former acquaintance from the Junior League went home from work yesterday not feeling well and laid down for a bit. She never woke up. She leaves behind 3 boys and a husband and a river wide of mourning friends.
I was the early girl today at work and when I got home, my husband was already home. God knows what we need and when we need it. Today I needed his strong arms and shoulder to cry on.
On Friday, I received a phone call from our neighbor, they needed a sitter that evening to attend a prayer service. The service was for one of her young teachers who very suddenly and unexpectedly lost her husband that morning. Married only 5 months, and 12 weeks along with their first child, a recent graduate from the local chiropractic college, this couple had their whole life ahead of them. I did not know them. I do not need to know them to know that this is a tragedy of which there may never be any answers until we get to heaven. Maybe.
And so, with life completely upended we look to Trust in the Lord and have Faith in His plan knowing it is always far better than we could possibly imagine….even in the midst of a black, thick fog of grief.
By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham’s bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom.
Monday, one of my oldest friends lost her step-father after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Circle of Life. Womb to tomb.
Never did we hear of Kate and Will’s precious son in utero referred to as the “Royal Fetus”. Nay, he was a babe from her first visit to the hospital with morning sickness. Heart beating, limbs forming, world anticipating.
My friend’s step-father was lovingly cared for by his wife as his memory and recognition declined. As he became weak and frail and non-communicative. When he became bed-ridden and his body began to shut down. She and Hospice attended to his needs, his comfort, his heart. There was no talk of assisted suicide. His children surrounded him with love and care (each dealing with grief in their own manner), however, as he peacefully passed from this life he was surrounded by his loving family. Womb to tomb. Dignity, grace and reverence.
It’s been an interesting week this week. I must say, I’ve been looking at life differently for a few days and tonight I adjusted even more.
Earlier this week, I had a patient, a “frequent flier” (of which you do NOT want to be when you come see me at work); it was a 6 month check up for him and his lung cancer. We’ve scanned him since he was diagnosed about 2 years ago. 28. Firefighter. In firefighting shape. I’ve seen a lot of ugly, ugly cases in my time and every once in a while you get a patient that floors you. He did. It was an awful cancer and it took a tremendous effort to take him off the table and smile and give him the standard directions to hydrate, etc knowing full well we’d see him again. and again. and again. hopefully. Then yesterday, there he was. Hair growing back. Skeleton replaced by flesh. Almost back to his starting weight. Same good spirits. He’s running again, almost a mile. Oh, and he’s missing a lung. The whole lung. He’s not even one bit short of breath. Hoping to be back to full duty in a month and complaining that he’s not running further yet. We both laughed about that, knowing full well what a difference those 6 months made. Medicine is amazing. Truly amazing. Yet, when I have a patient like this, I know medicine alone can’t take the credit for this healing. This young man’s work isn’t done yet. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring for him!!
Then tonight, my step-dad told me of a neighbor a few doors down that passed away a few weeks ago. A family with all boys. The youngest 2 are our son’s ages roughly. The older 2 are in college. The husband and wife have never been overly friendly to me,but I’ve seen them at school, and the dad playing in the yard with his boys. 41 years old. Massive heart attack. The dad died. What!?!? They are healthy. I see them at the gym. He’s younger than me! Talk about smacking your day into perspective. You never know. Really.
Plan for tomorrow but live for today. Make each moment count. The little stuff is just “stuff”. Engage with your family. We see it all the time. We hear it all the time. Life is precious. Take it one day at a time and make every one count.