In an annual rite of cleaning out and reorganizing my digital files, I came across this photo of three very special people. Taken in December 2009, the three friends smiled broadly into the camera, never dreaming what the year 2010 would bring them.
The one at left (my precious sister) would lose her husband in the spring after a diagnosis of a brain tumor; despite a successful surgery, he ultimately passed away from a massive coronary just days afterwards. In hindsight, she is grateful that he didn’t have to suffer through the ravages of chemo/radiation with a poor prognosis, even after aggressive treatment.
The one in the middle (my dear friend from high school days) had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer the summer before, but she was ever hopeful that there was a cure out there to buy her some time. It was not to be, and sadly, she passed away just days after my sister’s husband, leaving her husband and two beautiful daughters, one in college and one in high school. Losing these two beloved people so close together was a double whammy to my heart.
Her dearest hope had been to live long enough to see them grown up, successful and independent. She didn’t quite make it, but I hope and pray that her girls will honor their mother’s memory and remember her influence.
The one at right’s husband (also friends from high school days) would be diagnosed with ALS the very next month, and she would watch him progressively decline from that point on. He bravely fights this insidious disease to this very day.
I cling to this photo to remember the happy times, the innocent times. It’s a reminder about how fleeting life is! Our days are numbered, but none of us know when it will be our turn. How precious life is, and like the character, Emily in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”, we must cherish each and every ordinary day.
Especially during the holiday season, focus on what’s good and right, and always be thankful for your loved ones, your favorite traditions and your faith. Enjoy all the usual tasks that come with celebrating Christmas or Hanukah, and don’t let them bring you down. Do them intentionally with an attitude of blessing. Cherish each one as if it were the last time you would ever do them, because you just never know.
Merry Christmas, holiday happiness and a blessed 2012 to all!
note: pewperson will return on Jan. 6.