Four years ago this week marks… the beginning of an indescribable journey, one that I am still on. Four years ago Chris was diagnosed with cancer.
It marks the beginning of a me… a person I never thought I could or would have to be. Both the fighter and the timid have collided, and this strangely familiar yet oddly unrecognizable person is emerging.
What cancer physically does to a person… cannot be imagined or put into words. But what cancer does to the mind and heart of that fighter and those they love… a full set of encyclopedias length books cannot touch the surface of that story.
There’s both beauty and pain. There are triumphs you wouldn’t believe could ever be counted as triumphs and there are terrible defeats you cannot fathom or recover from. Tragedy is only crushed and slowed in its functioning… by making every second count. Hope is fed by every word and tiny whispered detail in the strangest places and most inopportune times. Peace… oh how it touches chaos and just for the moment it lasts… you rejoice in its presence. Normal gives way to being rearranged and being rearranged becomes normal. Love becomes more precious and valuable than merely living life, it becomes life itself. Joy… wow… joy, becomes more than happiness could ever offer… its tears and it’s raw and it’s real life… it’s the groanings that only God can translate and it’s the strength to take steps when you want to give up.
I’d never wish cancer upon any one… but I want you to know this…. because of cancer I have learned it’s more important to lean upon God than on my own understanding. I have tasted the bitterness of death and found it’s not permanent… sweetness of memory and all we shared eventually seeps into death’s bitter drink. Beauty does come out of the ashes and the fire… a diamond the hardest and strongest of all treasures… facets cut by unfair circimstances and pain… shine with clarity and sparkle with the beauty only God can make from such devastation. Cancer didn’t win… it didn’t destroy and it didn’t defeat. We never said good-bye… but we did say, “see you later.”
Sadness, yes, I know it well… weariness, we’ve met many times… depression, yes, we’ve faced off. I still have hope… that one day the raw edges will be healed even though the hole remains.
Chris was half of my heart… I miss him still, but he left me a legacy. He never gave up, he never gave in and he always knew where he was going.