On Thursday I received a call after lunch. It was to ask if I knew about a friend and colleague who was in hospital.
She had terminal cancer and only had a few days to live. A few days to live…
How many times have we in our journey on the road of life received this type of news about a friend, colleague or loved one? Recently, I told a young colleague that when you get older you attend more funerals then you do weddings or christenings.
What can I say about my friend, Nancy? Three years ago this coming November she lost her husband to cancer, but it was a slow death unlike the one that she is facing now.
She dealt with her many trials in this life with dignity and courage. She always sought the high road and was there always to help someone with their problem or need.
Her son posted on Facebook that he lost his father to cancer and did not want to lose his mother to the same fate. His anguish is embedded in his words.
His cry is like the cry of so many men and women and children on this planet traversing the cosmos. They raise their tear-stained eyes to the heavens and ask for succor in their time of need. Many ask for a miracle, one more day, perhaps a week, restoration of health and life…
It seems that miracles of this nature are in short supply in 2013. This silence from the heavens can be bitter to the human soul in agony, and the whys can be deafening to one who has cried their tears and moistened the earth with sadness.
One of the things that Nancy’s son posted on her Facebook was this song by Brad Paisley– When I Get Where I’m Going.
When I get where I’m going
On the far side of the sky
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly
I’m gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain
Saturday was Nancy’s birthday, her last birthday on this earth. It is difficult to say good-bye, but good-byes are what we do as we age and see those we have journeyed with pass beyond this earthly reality.
Does a reality wait out there in the vastness after our life force ceases? Will we be able to ride a drop of rain? To spread our wings and soar to worlds untouched by human hands?
One certainty is that life will eventually end—when and how is always a mystery, except when someone is dying from cancer or some other hideous malady which plague this world. How you lived will be the legacy which you leave behind.
For Nancy her legacy is certain—devoted wife, mother, colleague, friend and helper. She lived her 53 years with grace despite the ups and downs and joys and sorrows which embraced her road of life.
So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can’t answer
So much work to do
Each day not only live your life to the fullest but thrive. Embrace the opportunities and challenges as well as the vales and dales of joy and sorrow.
I am certain that Nancy’s song will be added to the repertoire of the cosmic orchestra. For such a song is needed.
G. D. Williams © 2013
PS: Nancy passed to her eternal rest on Friday, August 23. Her community of life is much better because she was there. Her grace and kindness will be remembered by those who intersected with her on their road of life.
When I Get Where I’m Going
American Cancer Society
National Institutes of Health