A few weeks ago a friend was diagnosed with stage four cancer. She was devastated to hear this news and became sad and depressed.
After many more tests and appointments, she began to hope that with the right treatment, perhaps it wouldn’t be as bad as it sounded.
And then the other shoe dropped. Terminal. The prognosis is a few weeks, perhaps months.
This lady picked up the pieces of what life she has left and began preparing to die. Her affairs are in order and her family, while being heartbroken, is comfortingly close and supportive.
In conversation with her, I am overwhelmed by a sense of respect, admiration, and inspiration.
Her family, friends and church family are praying earnestly for a miracle.
As she faces her second chemo treatment today, which will hopefully prolong her life beyond the prognosis, I am praying for her, and hope whoever reads this, wherever in the world, will also offer prayer for this courageous lady.
My attention has been drawn back to the year 2007 when I was in a hospital emergency room experiencing heart attack symptoms. While there I met an eighty-four old grandmother who confided in me that it didn’t matter if she lived or died at this point in her life. As she poured out her sorrows to me my heart broke even more.
This wonderful woman had lost two adult children…one to cancer and the other in a car accident. If that wasn’t bad enough one of her grandchildren, at eighteen months, had died of meningitis.
I believe we met at that particular time because I needed her strength and courage to lean on. I had had lung cancer surgery two years prior to this heart episode, and my husband, now in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, was dying.
How much is too much? Only God knows.
She was stunningly beautiful with a healthy body, luxurious hair, a quick smile, and gentle, friendly manner. She worked where I did in 2005 and was always a pleasure to be around.
Then, in 2008, cancer struck. As it so often does, it played havoc with her life. A bony body, hairless head, and quietude were the new norm. It was almost as hard on those of us who worked with her as it was on her family to see this dramatic change in such a short time.
And then she died…at the tender age of fifty years. This vibrant, vivacious young woman was no longer with us. Her bright smile and happy face were now only a memory…a haunting, lovely memory.
My only consolation was that though cancer took her beautiful hair and body, God took her soul.
A few weeks ago there was program on TV that promoted doing the right thing, and it has been on my mind to blog about ever since. It’s why I researched and found the following quotes on the subject:
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. W. Clement Stone
That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here is some encouragement for all those going through difficulties at this moment in time. It is very beautiful and worth sharing. Please enjoy, whatever your beliefs.
One of the most powerful prayers I know is the Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971). It just makes so much sense, when deliberately thought about…what more is there to strive for than serenity, courage and wisdom. Enjoy a Sunday of serenity.