Thursday, May 23, 2013
So recently I stumbled upon THIS story. A life of a boy named Zach that I never would have heard of, had it not shown up on my computer one day~ had he not been sick~ had he not chosen to share his story.
I remember when my father-in-law passed away after a horrible year-long battle with cancer. We found out just a month after we lost Andrew and at that time we were also told that we had only about a year left with him.
I still feel that way when I look back on it. A man that was so full of life~ Someone whose voice and laughter I can still hear in my mind. A man that most of my children never met, and Jonasen has no memory of.
In that year, Jeff and I had many talks about life and death and God. We cried more that year than we smiled~ despite being first time parents. We often talked about it~ how one was taken so suddenly, without warning, while the other we waited on... Wondering when? Perhaps the only gift from cancer is that it forces you to say what you need to say today because you know tomorrow may not be here. We were able to say EVERYTHING we needed to say. Everything we needed Jeff's dad to say to our son. We were able to tell him what he meant to us, what we learned from him, how much we loved him!
Do you ever wonder what it would be like if we all lived that way? If those thoughts we have about others throughout the day (I'm talking the nice thoughts) didn't just stay in our heads, but we let them out? Instead of thinking, "Wow, I sure am blessed to have ____ in my life!" We actually SAID it? That's what "knowing" does and watching Zach's story reminded me that I have gotten out of practice with that. Out of thanking others for what they did for me today, yesterday, last year. Because what happens Today certainly shapes my Tomorrows.
This last week, I read a post on facebook from a friend who was asking for birthday cards for her friend's son who has been sick in the hospital for over a year with cancer. It was one of those moments where at first I thought, I should do that, but my goodness... my plate is so full, how can I even GET to the post office this week let alone find time to pen a card?!
And then I took a moment and paused~
I remembered all those pictures I colored for my father-in-law that year. How when I went and visited him in the hospital one day, I looked around and saw them on the walls... flowers and rainbows and hearts. What a difference they made on those sterile brick walls. And then I thought about the tomorrows and how sometimes today is more important.
I talked to my first graders and we took a break from the year-end assessment mess and we all got out our crayons and wrote John Birthday and Get-Well wishes. The letters made me cry because I imagined how that might feel... to get an envelope full of pictures and notes from strangers who thought of you... TODAY. And how that could affect your TOMORROW.
Of course with all these thoughts of Zach, my father-in-law, John~ all swimming in my head, I got to thinking of that first boy that made me Pause. Made me think about Today. Because you may not have Tomorrow. I was thinking about that when I got a note from a very old friend who Today wrote me to tell me how Andrew and I have made an "everlasting impact" on her.
I'm glad she told me that Today. Because sometimes what you do Today, can get you through Tomorrow.
Wishing you peace Today that will last you through your Tomorrows!
PS. To see what my students did for John, click HERE.