from an article originally posted August 17, 2014…
The call came twice on Friday. The sweet nurse left me the message to kindly call her back. In front of her sits a sheet of paper that will determine my next moments, my next breaths and the strength for breathing I will be able to lend that living. But I simply was away. I was away from service, away from fear, and my phone read no service all weekend. Jason kindly asked me to call from the camp phone and leave that number, I kindly declined and asked him to not ask for the duration of my time away. He kindly obliged. I know the results are in, I might even know what the results read in my own brand of knowing. But this weekend. This weekend I wanted to run away and not think of that little piece of paper. Though forgetting it proved impossible. Too many people care, too many people want to know. So many prayers are being lifted in hopes that the tiny piece of paper will surprise us all with good news. It is love unmistakable. A friend having a mama call wondering. Another saying they are waiting, always waiting for the post that tells the story of what is to come. And I simply flew away. I have had so many results, so many tests, so much news to constantly swallow.
Here is what I have learned from the swallowing of hard news. Here is what I know to be true. There is joy and there is grief in every answer on that paper. There is also a choice. I have learned my answer to the choice before the news is read. I may be fading, the news may be bad, but today, this day I am here. I want to be all here. And the news, well, it takes me away in its way. So I am happy to wait until Monday when the kind Shirley will call and tell me of the corners that cancer has found. I don’t envy her that task, but she does it with utter grace and honesty. My kind-faced oncologist has run away for a vacation, and he promised to leave instructions to give me the news plainly and honestly. I love him for that. Two years between us, we offer each other kindnesses on this journey together.
So I ran away with my loves. I ran away to the place my love story began, and I rejoiced in remembering. I showed Lake the place where Jason and I stayed under the stars talking until 2 in the morning. I told him how his daddy wanted to ask me to be his that entire conversation, but he couldn’t muster up the courage to do it. But that sweet conversation didn’t need the question to be asked, we knew we were falling in love. We didn’t need to define it that star-filled night. And I told Lake it takes a lot of courage to love another, but it’s the best kind of courage.
Then we came home from our camping trip and ran to a wedding. We barely got ourselves showered and all at once we filled a beautiful church. Lake sat near to me. I told him as they were making their vows to look for God. I asked him if he could see their courage in standing before us all and God and promising to do the very hard task of loving another broken person the best in this world. I told him one day he would be in a room full of people, and he would only see one person—the object of his love. I told him it would be the best day. But it would be a weighty day. A day of making a covenant, the beautiful covenant of marriage. Oh, that day. It’s going to be a great day, and he will be a most handsome groom.
Then the kind groom danced with his aunt in memory of his mama. And I simply wept. My friend stood beside me knowing the dance would be hard for me to watch. But it wasn’t hard—it was beautiful hard. It was kind of Justin to honor his mama in a dance with his aunt. And I knew. I knew in some way my love would meet my children in that special moment too, even if I do not. I thought of my sweet sister dancing that dance in my place. She would proudly enjoy that dance in my memory. She would look my strong son in the face and tell him he chose well. Tell him I would be so proud of his big love. And she would cry. She would know how my heart longed for that moment but that my longing was met in Jesus.... So the sadness wouldn’t keep. Because I would be kept. And I suppose none of us really knows. I may still be there. I say that only for you commenters who like to tell me that. But quietly, I do know. I know that beauty will go on long past me. My children will be out capturing the best of life far beyond my presence. My guy will be gray and full of old man laughter on those days. He will think on me and cry, but he will know I would want him to be on the dance floor.
So we know how to run away and capture beauty. As we were driving back into town, Jason turned to me and said, Let’s keep driving until we find a new place to adventure. I smiled at him sweetly and said we have a love story to witness and you have a sermon to preach. A beautiful adventure all its own.
So my dear loves, the results are in, the paper reads the verdict. I simply don’t want to know yet. I was away remembering. I was away capturing life while it’s still here to live. Won’t you join me?