It’s a hard balance to find.
Pouring yourself out onto your blog, soaking in comfort from friends who leave comments promising that they are still praying.
Then wanting to share those little and huge things that are changing your life daily – and wanting to preserve someone’s privacy and dignity… how do you carve that fine line?
There is no shame in dying.
Not after a life well-spent.
But somehow I find myself more protective than ever. Wanting to spare her the indignities of not being able to care for herself. The indignities of anyone remembering her as anything other than beautiful, capable, encouraging, and quick to laugh.
Grief comes before the final loss. When you realize that your time is short and that things you thought would always be there… are slipping faster than you can reach for them. Then the grief becomes mixed with your gratitude.
It hurts to learn that lesson that life is made up of those million little things – and that the “big” things are not what you miss at this very moment.
I didn’t take it for granted that I had a truly wonderful mother-in-law. I took for granted that I would always be able to walk next door and borrow a cup of cornstarch and the advice to use it to fix the dinner that flopped.
I didn’t take it for granted that she’d always be there to talk to.
But I took for granted that she’d always be there for Itty Bit to talk to.
I can smile through tears when I look at the pictures… so many of them of her with the youngest members of our family. It is no secret why they love her sense of fun.
And the images Dana captured – of the real family moments, are ones that show this abiding joy.
It made it doubly hard to bear when cancer brought pain. Watching her muscle through, clinging to her innate cheerfulness. Holding tight to her faith.
I was struck wordless when she made it in to church shortly after starting chemo.
Not that she’d come to church, but that the children would not stop climbing into her lap. She was swarmed.
It spoke volumes to me that when Mr. Daddy saw one of the police officers on the side of the road, he pulled over to tell him about Mom’s diagnosis. The heartbroken officer also called her “Mom”. I don’t know why I was surprised.
The daughter who arrived this morning from hours away… isn’t related by birth. But rather by love and kindness. Her entire life transformed as a teen by the heart and home of the woman she now calls “Mom”.
I am keenly aware that we are in a painful and bittersweet period of Lasts. I am so grateful to you who have stood by us and prayed for this woman who poured out her life into grown men and women who would still call her “Mom” one day.
In sharing with you that our time with her is likely short, I want to do well by her.
I want to tell you what I think she would say.
That dying is not a sign of little faith.
That living well is far more important.
That time is a gift.
People are worth it.
and Love Wins.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8