from an article originally posted July 14, 2014…
That’s my day. July 14 is the day I came to be a part of this world. This past week I have thought much on this simple day and found myself in tears. I’m not exactly sure where the tears come from, but I will simply try let my fingers explain it to me here, tonight after I have kissed the heads of my children, read the books, said the prayers; I simply want to come here to write.
You see, my journey is intertwined in my birthday. It was 2 years ago this weekend I found my cancer. My diagnosis was confirmed July 23, but I found my cancer in the shower just before my birthday. So my birthday is also a mark of my struggle for my moments these last 2 years. These last years have been the birth of perspective and the death of corners in my life that needed dying to.
When we started this battle, Story felt like a baby. When we started, we didn’t know if we would have these 2 years. Talking to Jason tonight, he said he thought the tomorrows would feel longer. This battle has taken his beautiful optimism. He sees what few truly see. A few days ago he read the weary on my face, and he gently put me to bed. He asked simple questions, and only my eyes could answer—the words were too hard. He gently put me to bed and saw my story.
So tomorrow, the day I came to be. Well, I feel so mixed about it. There is this unimaginably full place in my heart that feels so unbelievably grateful to have had these years. All these full, full years that I would not trade. My heart bursts for the love that I know each moment of each day. Big Giant Jesus love, family love, friend love.... Love-that-never-ends love. Love that feels like it enters my life for the purpose of being extended to another.
Then there is the selfish, gluttonous Kara that looks at my days, my years, my story, and wants more. I cannot nor will I ever stop wanting to be a mama, a wife, a friend, a writer. Me. To my very last moment, I will be asking for more. And one day the More, the true fullness of life will be given to me. The greatest gift. I will be handed the infinite. But the finite me—well, I just struggle to see it. I ask for more nights reading Owl Moon to Story, more nights looking at new hand-me-downs Ella is enjoying, more nights getting double the kisses I ask for from Lake, and more nights hearing Harper wind down with words.... And finally, more nights next to my love—our feet touching, our stories meeting.
I know all these beautiful things are a picture of what is to come. The place I am certain of, but don’t feel ready for. They point us to the bigger story, but my imagination isn’t so big tonight. Tonight, I go to bed looking forward to the little faces that will meet me in the morning to kiss me, feed me something they proudly create, and celebrate me—the mama they know. But, my last prayer before bed will always be, “Daddy, can I stay just a minute longer?” He knows when it will be time for me to leave the party. But I intend to dance my awkward steps to the very last. Because, this day, this moment, this breath—well, it’s an answer to my prayer. And how I want to live those answered prayers well!
These 2 years have given me much. So much. I’m thankful. Tomorrow I turn 38. I can hardly wait to be older. I hope for a gray hair, a new wrinkle, a new ache and pain that comes from one more year. Bring it. I intend to live 38 with all the grace already prepared to meet me in this next year. I don’t know if I get to meet 39, but boy howdy—I intend to live like I will.