Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Live with the end in sight

In 2005 I met a family that I've come to know and love through the blog-o-sphere. Scott was our adoption lawyer and while looking for his contact information at one point I found his website which had a link to his family's blog that had recently been started to chronicle his young daughter's cancer journey.

I read through the first months worth of posts through my huge tears. I couldn't imagine my young child going through what his sweet Rebekah was having to endure.

It was crazy to think that in all of the times I spoke to him on the phone he never once gave any indication that his family was in turmoil over his daughter's recent diagnosis. You never know what someone on the other end of the phone line (or email, or check-out counter) might be going through. He had a job to do. He still had to put food on the table... so he tended to our adoption related needs as they arose.

Two and half years after their family first found out about Rebekah's cancer, they had a house fire that displaced them from their home. Less than two years after that Scott's wife, Frances, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's) which is a terminal disease.

Frances is in her early 40's. Much, much too young to be facing what she's facing. Their kids are very close in age to our kids. I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through. She has been on life support for the last several months and is ready to have life support removed in the very near future. Can you imagine... having the mental capacity to chose to be removed from life support?

ALS is a disease that has stopped her body from functioning, everything but her eyes are unable to move. Yet she is at full mental capacity. She's very intelligent and coherent despite her body's inability to function.  In these, her final days she has written some very insightful, very challenging things on the blog.

She writes by using her eyes to "type" out letters one by one with the assistance of a special computer. I encourage you to stop by their blog. Read about their story. Pray for their family as her life on earth draws to an end. Leave a comment for Frances and Scott to read. Let them know that you are praying for them. If they have touched you in any way, please share that with them.

Hold your kids and your spouse a little bit tighter. Don't put off until tomorrow what you ought to say or do today. She has a rare opportunity to know the date of her earthly departure, very few ever get that opportunity. Most of us leave unexpectedly with unfinished business. But we all have one thing in common. We're all going to die. Some of our lives will be relatively short and others will be relatively long. But in the scope of eternity we are all here for just a short while.

Make the most of it. Live with the end in sight...

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