For the past few days, when I wake up in the morning or the middle of the night, one person immediately comes to mind.
I’ve only met her once. It was brief. Really just a “hello” in passing. And yet I’ve been thinking about her constantly.
She’s the sister-in-law of a friend. She has been battling cancer for years. And this week the doctor is sending her home from the hospital without much hope.
She lives just a few streets away from me. Her kids are about the same age as mine. She just celebrated her 40th birthday. Her husband loves her. Her family loves her. It seems so unfair.
I get it. I get that if her life does end sooner than she had planned, she will be heading to a perfect home. She will live for the first time in years without pain and suffering. No more doctors. No fear. That assurance has to make it easier for those left here. But it doesn’t take away the pain.
And then I’ve been thinking about my own life.
I get so tempted to complain about my aching back. I long for a good night of sleep.
I wish for the days I could go on coffee dates and run errands instead of doing home school with my kids. I get frustrated when they see letters and numbers in reverse, and I can’t seem to help. I get tempted to raise my voice when chaos ensues in our confined space that is home and school.
I wake up to a human being in my stomach kicking her legs and thrusting her tiny bottom from side to side. I lay there watching her move around, amazed at this miracle. Amazed that this would happen to me one last time.
I get to spend my days with my boys and my daughter. I get to be the one to help them visualize what it means to multiply. I get to listen to their reading skills improve. I get to learn along with them about the majesty of our solar system. I get to just. be. with. them.
I’m doing my best to enjoy these moments. I know how fast they will fly by.
The aching back. The sleepless nights. The dirty diapers. The temper tantrums. They all seem like they will last forever.
I now know they won’t.
So fast they turn to sibling rivalry and bins of LEGO. Spilled milk and riding bikes. Midnight fevers and jumping in leaves.
It’s tempting to count down days. To wish away time. To want something else.
To wish away time until what? There is no more?
My heart aches for someone I barely know. How I pray that God will give her more days.
And how I pray that I will not waste mine.
4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man’s life is but a breath.
6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.