from an article originally posted October 21, 2014…
I have today, and I’m spending it beside my loves. I’m tasting and knowing the goodness of family. I am fighting to enjoy the moments shared with loves. But each day, as I wake to new mercies, I also wake to new pain, new places that feel to be hardening. The daily fight to find the grace when the story of me is fading. I can lose my peace when I think too far into the future. I can suffocate if I wonder how many more days I’ll be granted. I can shatter into a puddle if I begin to wonder over the coming holidays.
But today, blessed today is here. I’m battling to live in the present within the confines of this moment. I must fight not to grow anxious over the coming hard moments. After I wrote to Brittany, I received the gift of y’all sharing the stories of home-going of your loves—the stunning last moments of life each of you have cherished as you have gently walked beside the tender, vulnerable, and dying in your lives.
Before, I struggled when people would say, This person I loved died of what you have. I often felt hopeless, wondering over the living of those stories. Did they live well, did they enjoy life until that last moment? I only got the final verdict. Cancer had taken someone they have loved. But in sharing my heart with Brittany, so many have shared the whole final chapter of the story with me. The beauty that was captured in the last moment with a loved one. The stunning final breath and the peace that met them in that final moment. I have cried wonderful tears over the hard and long goodbye so many of you have experienced. Not one story was easy, simple, but every one was flavored with beautiful grace.
So now, I don’t mind hearing the story of another dying of cancer. Because now, so many are sharing the whole beautiful picture with me. The last struggle in this place and the entering the next place. It isn’t easy, but it is beautiful.
So I wake with new corners of cancer finding its way around my weakened body, but I also wake with new peace as I gather and cherish the stories you share with me. I have moments where I panic that I’m not leaving enough of myself behind for my loves, but then—but then—they come and get tangled into my life today. Today—this day—we get to live beside one another and seek the present grace in today. In the looking for that great goodness, my loves will learn the art of looking after I have breathed my last.
They see me wincing in pain, but they also see me almost wetting my pants I’m laughing so hard. And both will help them look honestly at each moment. Sure, I long to write more letters, leave more videos, share more stories... But that last moment is perfectly planned. My high calling is to be faithful to today.
How are you called today? How can you live more present in today without fear and anxiety over tomorrow? It’s a great high calling, but it’s a worthy one.