From an article originally posted October 29, 2013…
We hopped on a jet plane and decided to run away to visit family in San Diego for a time with our little people. When we heard that cancer had returned so quickly, we decided we needed time away. Time spent relishing our moments together. Time trying to exhale. Time spent trying to capture memories. We are all more tired than we admit, more needy of rest than we can comprehend.
Cancer brings an intensity to life. A hyper living that doesn’t feel realistic. We went and put our feet in the ocean. And I wondered if we would remember. Ella and I sat in the sand and talked about how big God is, but how personal He is in His caring. And I wondered if she would remember. I woke my kids from a deep nap with snuggles and a peanut butter cup. And I wondered if they would be like me and remember in the taste of moments. I spent time talking with a nephew with a twinkle in his eye and another who had a goose egg lump on his head from flag football. And I wondered what their imaginations captured of what their parents had told them of our story.
It all sounds so self-focused. It is. It’s exhausting. It’s not that I want my children to remember me so much as I want to be woven into the fabric of the living. I want to be present now, alive now, and yes, remembered. I get frustrated when I need to nap, because that doesn’t feel like living. Then I rejoice when I am joined by everyone in nap time—because I haven’t missed anything. Or the napping feels part of everyone’s living—not just my illness robbing me. As if a community nap is a vacation victory, but a solitary nap is my illness robbing me of joy. I listen to Jason lovingly planning my moments with my brother in law to protect my energy, and I feel robbed of being normal. I don’t want to be the girl that just lost her lady parts, just had a brain tumor, runs out of steam before everyone else. I don’t want to be managed, and yet, I need it desperately.
This vacation is such a lovely time to be away. Pray for us in our time together. Pray I would simply live in the peace of the moment. Not hyper-live in the hope my baby girl will be capturing forever memories. Tomorrow we plan to breakfast out, swim, rest, surf, and eat. Doesn’t that sound delicious? I want to meet it in the joy of the moment, not with the lingering fear of when the moments will end. Pray I would live in the grace before me, focused on my loves, and able to put my hyper self-focused fears aside and just enjoy a little hand in mine as we walk on the beach.
I look forward to enjoying a well made cup of coffee, a long swim in a pool, sitting next to a family member at a meal, watching my children be drunk with joy beside crashing waves, watching my big girls attempt surfing dreams, and napping—blissful, spent-from-play, vacation napping.
What moment is precious to you today? How can you embrace them, be present in them, enjoy them, without being ultra-focused on yourself, but simply living it as the gift of grace that it truly is? I long for a break from my cancer thinking fears, and just live in the time being alive next to the people I love. Or some hybrid of that. I know you will be praying. I love you.