Summer is here , you can tell by the amount of water balloon pieces in our back yard and permanent fixture of the air mattress , pillows , and blankets in our living room.
I promised Mike I would be better this year and I will... just giving us a two week grace period to soak in the first two weeks while we still like each other.
Mike has not felt great lately. The three years of treatment of effect of GVHD from his transplant have caught up to him and his body is, well for lack of better words, broken- beat up- and exhausted.
As Emily's husband John and I talked the other night, He told me all he can do is live just ONE DAY at a time. And damn if that isn't the only positive lesson cancer can teach.
We live one day at a time.
Hoping the next will bring relief from pain, mentally and physically. And for John relief from grief and a broken heart.
I have vowed that this summer will be filled with fun and joy for my kiddos. Graham is old enough to hang in there and keep up with the best of them , so I am hoping this summer will bring many Yes's, much spontaneity along with plenty of time for rest and movies. Time to just be and living in the moment of the day. After arguing has begun just three days in , not sure how well this plan will go, but here's to trying.
This morning I read a devotion from Mark Nepo in his book, The Book of Awakening.
If you don't Mark Nepo, he is an author or poetry and spiritual books. He is also a survivor of cancer and many of his stories and wisdom have arrived after his journey with the disease.
I have mentioned him before :) His book The book of awakening is kinda like my bible, I find comfort and hope in his words. He is a believer of all religions. But mainly a believer of love.
Anyways- The devotion this morning May 30th is titled- A String of Todays-
And I wanted to share with you all.
We can not wait for cancer to be out of our lives to live. We must live today, with all the unfortunate circumstances brought our way. we must keep living through the pain and suffering
Sweet Celia wore her Share Love That's All t-shirt every other day at the end of this school year. I believe it is just because she is in a t-shirt phase :) But I love seeing her wear it proud.
She came home one day and said that her teacher and the other Kindergarten teacher asked her about her shirt and could she bring them one tomorrow?
I asked her what she told them that shirt mean, curious what had registered in her 5 year old brain. She told them -
" we have these shirts because my daddy is special"
I held the tears back for the moment. But in her eyes, cancer has made her daddy special.
What if we could look at all our problems, flaws, burdens as special. As special ways to teach love and compassion in a world full of brokenness. I later found out after thanking Mrs Washington for asking for a shirt that she is a 5 year breast cancer survivor. No one fights Alone.
She inspired me to go ahead and share our Share Love That's All, website.
If not today, then when?
Three years later, with the help of Grant Sharp, our family, and many others we have established a foundation. We hope and pray that we can help raise money for research for Leukemia and cancer and also share love with patients, caregivers, and nurses of those effected by this disease.
We have been specially called for this mission.
We keep trying to find purpose in our string of todays, it is not always easy , but we will not give up, we have so much to be grateful for.
A String of Todays
If not now, when?
Since surviving cancer, there is a burning bit of truth I live with every day. Sometimes it doesn’t let me sleep, but most of the time, it brings me great joy. No one uttered this to me, and I didn’t arrive at it or work at it. It just revealed itself, the way a broken bone makes us re-feel the immense pressure of air. And this bit of truth is, If not now, when? It keeps coming down to this: There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays. Still, like most of us, I was somehow taught to dream forward, to fill the future with everything that matters:
Someday I will be happy. When I am rich, I will be free. When I find the right person, then I will know love. I will be loving and happy and truthful and genuine then. But almost dying seared the sense of future from me, and though I expect to live a very long time, though I make plans and look forward to the many things I plan, I have no choice but to dream now. I start out, as I always have, pouring the best of me into an imagined time yet to be, but then I hear, If not now, when? and the best of me floods back to the only place it truly knows—Now.
This all helps me understand a story about Jesus very differently. I’m thinking of the young, rich merchant who approaches Jesus after his Sermon on the Mount. He admires Jesus so, is truly touched, and wants to join him. So he asks with great sincerity what he needs to do, what arrangements need to be made.
Jesus opens his arms and says, “Come with me now. Drop everything and come.” The young merchant stumbles and cites his many “yes, buts”: He can’t leave his business so suddenly. He has to leave word. He’ll need to gather fresh clothes. How much money should he bring? With open arms, Jesus simply says one more time, “Come with me now.” How often do we all rehearse this moment, putting off love, truth, joy, and even God, citing our many “yes, buts” to ourselves, when all we have to do—hard and simple as it is—is to drop everything and come now.