Nothing But a Thing Called Life…and Death

This week was far more interesting than I was anticipating. While I knew I would be readying the family and myself for the 7-day silent, no-communication-of-any-sort, mindful meditation retreat which starts today (Friday the 5th), I didn’t expect I would be doing so in between numerous doctor’s appointments.

Jumping ahead to the story ending, I’m good. But Monday was a mess that resulted in my daughter sitting on the school steps for an hour waiting for me to pick her up, and my son and his teammate being noticeably late for practice, only making it at all because of a very patient Uber driver.

Tests were taken. Blood was drawn. More tests were taken. Rinse and repeat. So forth and so on. I was told by the doctor, who was young but well-credentialed, that I should expect the worse. It didn’t look good. She was almost certain it was cancer.

But glory be to God, the biopsies came back benign.

The doctor apologized for scaring me. And for not fully appreciating how much redheads bleed (which was why I was stuck in the office way past office hours). Lessons were learned at my expense. But all in all, I am grateful. I am obviously grateful for the positive results. And I am equally grateful because this was a true test – the truest test of resolve to acknowledge what is, and accept that whatever it is, it is part of my journey.

Waiting for results benefits no one and frustrates everyone, so few knew. Together though we stayed in constant communication. Two close friends checked on me regularly throughout the day. Despite working late, they still came over to be with me, bringing gifts, most especially the gifts of their love and support.

Together we were reminded that our reaction, our response, is truly the only thing in life that we can control – even, and perhaps especially, in the face of confronting our own mortality. What I have come to appreciate is that life is more precious because there is death. Death brings significance to life because life is not forever. Death encourages and reminds us to cherish the lives of those we love because there will come a time, whether it’s our turn or theirs, that this life will end.

This week was an unexpected gift of time spent with people I cherish, having conversations about accepting life for what it is (temporary), acknowledging what we truly are (eternal), and enjoying what matters most (love).

I am beyond grateful for this life, and for everyone in this life, most especially including you.

With loving gratitudes,

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