Yesterday, our church family celebrated the life of a beautiful young mother. Her life on earth was cut short by cancer. What happens when you hear the word cancer? For me, I feel like my very breath is snatched away. It frightens me because there seems to be no way to prevent it from happening. It makes me think a lot about my own mortality.
Something about this woman ... her life and death ... Something shook the safety net I've knit around my life. Have you ever done that? Created a net around your life to protect you from the world and all its sadness? I do that ... a lot. I think I am healthy, so I won't get sick. I'm a safe driver, so I won't be involved in a car accident. I don't smoke, so I won't have breathing or respiratory issues. I don't drink to an excess, so I won't have liver damage. My children and husband are healthy. I have a full time job and benefits. So, death, injury and financial struggles aren't going to touch my life.
But, then I learned this woman had cancer. A form of cancer someone her age, health and background of life should not have. And, I realized, it doesn't matter what I do, I can't stop death or sadness.
The only thing I can do ... make my life, every moment of it ... matter, count. To live my life so in the moment I pass from life on earth into life in the hereafter ... my loved ones mourn and the angels rejoice. I haven't been living that way. Lately, I've been too wrapped up in my own work and wants.
Today, I want to say ... Thank you, Angie. Thank you for your life and death.
Your death has reminded me of things I take for granted. Your passing made me realize there are things I should be enjoying, because tomorrow isn't a guarantee.
Today, I will stop to color pictures with my 5 year old instead of doing the dishes. I'll listen to my 7 year old talk about football and StarWars instead of doing the laundry. I'll talk to my 15 year old and let him share his thoughts, feelings. And, I'll let my husband know how much I love him, I need him and ... even after 16 years of marriage ... I still love it when he stops to see me at work with a cup of coffee or even just to say "hi."
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away. Cherish the memories, the laughter and love"