Hearing that a loved one has a finite amount of time left here on this earth is one of the most shattering, heartbreaking conversations you can ever have. We turn to prayer, tears and excrutiating fear just to get through the next few minutes. Then those minutes turn to hours and beyond. Time in the present seems to be warped, as we look around the littlest things have new meaning, yet at the same time so little meaning when you look at the bigger picture. This reflection and perspective can change our own life in an instant.
I just spent time caring for a dear loved one in a transplant hospital 1,660 miles away. The time spent there was cautious, deeply meaningful and with the best intentions and postitivity I could provide with no experience. In those times our human-ness is realized all too well and our need to help from the depth of our souls is overpowering. I cherish the time I was there and know that, although I offered no medical benefit or physical strength, my contribution emotionally and spiritually was everything I had in me. We laughed, we cried, we formed new, sweet memories and we spent quality, genuine time just being together.
This loved one is amazing. She has never been a quitter and her inner strength in this dire situation rivals any heavy weight boxer on the planet. Upon receiving this news she had a time of dispair and pure sadness that she allowed for about two hours. Then, in true form, she turned it around. She decided this diseased state was not going to be her existence no matter what amount of time she has here with us. She put back on her postitive, determined fighting gloves and she started training. Her fight now is to have the most kick ass time possible and never quit. In the past few days her doctors have been amazed and even changed their treatment plan, keeping her close to the hospital in outpatient care longer than they had planned, because her labs and physical state have exceeded their expectations. Miracle or not, she is my hero and as I said, she is amazing!
If there is anything we can learn from her it is to be diligent, dedicated and positive in the face of any challenge you may face. Life is short, for all of us, but knowing that we are blessed to be here, to have the opportunity to live life to the fullest and focus on what is really important is all we can do. I hate clichés like these as much as the next person, but being in this situation right now…they have new, much deeper meaning, and I intend to pay attention. Thanks for continuing to fight cousin, your inspiration and life lessons are reaching and teaching more than you’ll ever know!