You are a formidable foe, we give you that. But instead of cursing you, as you claim another victim and dance your victory lap, we would like to acknowledge the good things that happened to us because of you.
Because of your presence we learned how to spend quality time together. We recognized how short our lives here on earth is, and we are always living on borrowed time. So we arranged some fun trips and visited places, and we enjoyed our time together. It reminded us the real purpose we have in this life and appreciate the time we were given. Even for some moments, we forgot that you are lurking around.
Second, because of your ill effects, people around reached out to us. We realized how much family and friends we really have. They cried with us, they laughed with us, and prayed with us all throughout our journey. They even shared their blessings with us, even if they themselves have their own struggles. For this we are grateful and humbled. You brought out the best in us and you brought out the goodness from the people around us. Who knew you can have that effect in people?
Lastly, we don’t mock you when we say you are a “slow” killer. But because of that nature, it gave us an ample time to prepare for what our future will be. It gave us time to put our house in order. It gave us time to learn to forgive, and time to ask forgiveness to all the people we are indebted with. And most of all, it gave us time to prepare to meet our God, who is really the One who “giveth and taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Only then did we hang up our fighting gloves, and finish it still on our terms, not yours.
You are a formidable foe, and we fought a good fight. But in the end, we consider it not a loss but a win. Yes we may mourn, but we will also celebrate the life we are loaned.
(*Thoughts for my wife’s sister who spent some time with us last spring, and who finally succumbs in her battle over metastatic breast cancer.)
(**photo taken in Acadia National Park)