UPDATE (06/26/2015): Wendy now rests in the arms of her Savior.
Our pain is her peace. Our nightmare… her dream come true.
Our darkest day leaves her standing in the Light. Now, we see dimly but one day face to face.
Tonight, I was slow to put the kids to bed. I hugged them a little longer. Gave a few extra kisses. Snuggled a bit tighter.
Three weeks ago, my friend Wendy was diagnosed with cancer.
Wendy is a lot like us. She is a homeschooling mother to two children, ages 9 and 6. She loves fiercely, is overly generous, and longs to see her children happy.
Since the diagnosis, her cancer has doubled. She is now in the hospital and will likely never return home. The doctor’s goal at this point is to keep her comfortable. The cancer is rampant throughout her lungs, abdomen, and liver.
Today, I spent the afternoon with Wendy and her family. As I held my friend’s hand and stroked her arm as she slept under a morphine haze, I wondered what she would tell us.
I imagined her saying…
As I lay dying, the thing that stings the most is not the needles and the IV. It isn’t the steady drip of pain killers or the cancer filling my body. What hurts is that I had no idea that once I entered the emergency room, I would never again have the pleasure of tucking my kids into bed. I would never again kiss their boo-boos on the driveway of our home. I would never again snuggle against my husband’s chest and listen to his heart beat as we drifted off to sleep.
As I lay dying, I urge you… do not press on with your day as if time doesn’t matter. This could happen to you. We are not guaranteed tomorrow and yet you plan vacations that you never take. You set goals you never reach. You spend so much time full of good intentions and make promises that you never keep.
“Not today but tomorrow.”
“Ask me later.”
“In a minute.”
“Honey, I’m busy right now… but I love you.”
Mommy… Daddy… My friends…
As I lay dying, I want you to stop trying to do more in less time. Stop pushing your top priorities down to second place. Spend your time where it truly matters. Build meaningful moments. Search for what is really important. Work hard but love harder.
Grasp. Cling. Hold. As if your life depended on it.
And never, ever sacrifice your family because in the end, they are all that matters.
Now… go live your life with purpose.
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