Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pondering death while celebrating life

            Saturday was an interesting day.  It was St. Patrick’s Day, of course.  We had bagels for breakfast, with green tinted cream cheese and cucumber “shamrocks”.  We all dressed in green and listened to Irish music, dancing like leprechauns for a little while.  

          Then Tim checked our e-mail quickly because we had big plans for the day.  St. Patrick’s Day is my grandmother’s birthday and this year was extra special because she turned 90.  She came to Florida to celebrate and we were going to attend the party at my parent’s house.  All my grandmother’s children would be there, my mom and her two older brothers, also my dad, an aunt, my brother and his family, and all 7 of us.   We had gifts and cards and food to bring along.  We were excited about the day.

But, first the e-mail.  In our inbox were the normal ads and coupon e-mails.   And there were a few e-mails from friends.  Strangely, three of the 11 e-mails we received, contained updates on friends of ours.  Updates on how their cancer treatments are going.  We have a fourth friend also suffering from cancer, but there was no update on him.    As we drove the hour and a half to my parent’s house and my grandmother’s 90th birthday party, I could not help but think about our 4 friends with cancer and their suffering and the fact that they are all too young to die.   Some of them are worse off than others but all of them are suffering, all of them must think about and face the reality of their mortality, all of them must fight this devastating disease when they should be enjoying life with their young families and friends.  

I know we cannot begin to understand the will of God and, certainly, we should not question it.  I know we are called to simply accept and trust in His plan but sometimes it is hard not to question.  Sometimes it is hard not to call out in fear and frustration, “God what are you doing?!?!?!?!?”

I am so very grateful my grandmother is alive and healthy at 90 years old.  She had a very close call back in November and we were sure she would not make it, but she is here to celebrate with her family and snuggle with her great-grandchildren and rejoice in her life surrounded by those who love her.  

I wonder what the future holds for my friends who wake up each day to chemotherapy treatments and interferon and doctor’s visits and tests and pain and fear.  Will they get to see their children grow up?  Will they get to celebrate their next birthdays, and the next after that and the next after that, and maybe someday their 90th?

I know God has a plan and I know His plan is for good. I believe that, even in my questioning and my worry.  I can only pray my friends who are suffering will believe in God’s goodness as well and that they will allow God to comfort and strengthen them through their journeys.  Cancer stinks.  It really stinks but God is great, really, really great.


  1. I'm sending up a prayer for your four friends stricken with cancer, and for your grandmother!! love the trinity shamrock cucumbers!

  2. Gardenia- Thank you so much for your prayers on behalf of our friends and my grandmother. I don't know if it is crazy to ask God for FOUR miracles all at once..... but I sure hope it is okay with Him. :)

    God Bless, Kari



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