just a blink

I work in a law office.  A large part of my job has to do with helping to create documents like wills and trusts and so forth.  A couple of weeks ago a lady and her daughter came in to have a will done.  This happens a lot, but this particular lady was memorable because she was the first client who ever mentioned my obvious condition.  It was one of the very last days I wore a scarf to work.  She was also a “chemo baldie” in a scarf, and as soon as she came in the door, she said “Oh!  You have a hairdo just like mine!”  We both laughed, and she asked my diagnosis, and told me hers, and we compared notes for a while.  It was nice to have someone be natural about it and not politely acting like there was nothing different about me.

Her daughter was in the office again today.  She needed to get the legal papers to finalize her mother’s assets.  The mom died last week.  On July 9th we were talking and laughing and making her will.  She didn’t seem that sick.  She didn’t seem well, don’t get me wrong, but she didn’t seem near death.  Today we were doing paperwork for her probate.

I will be honest, it took me back.  We had connected a bit, very briefly of course, but we shared something in common – and that something in common was also the thing that killed her.  I realized again how incredibly blessed I am to be here, alive, healthy, moving on.  It also scared me, because I know that even though they say “cured”, they don’t really mean cured until there’s no sign of cancer for 10 years.  As of now I’m cancer-free, and I plan to stay that way!  But I didn’t plan to get it in the first place, and it was very sobering to be face-to-face with the  swift voracity of it like this.

On a more cheerful note, my eight-year-old niece informed my sister (her mother) today that she plans to grow up to do something to help cure cancer, because she “never wants anyone to hurt and suffer like Aunt Kim did again.”  My sister asked her if she was thinking of becoming a doctor or scientist, and Kate replied, “No, I’ll be a famous singer or actor and help raise lots of money so they can do research.”  She will, too.  She could be a star tomorrow.

Life is precious.  It’s way too short to waste.  It’s way too long to be unhappy.  It’s way too important to spend on just yourself.

 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.   What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”  James 4:14-15

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