Last Saturday my mom was given two weeks to live. She is striving now. Eating well. Coughing almost gone. Walking stronger (with her walker). And most importantly, she says she’s feeling better.
I look back and only now am I beginning to realize the amount of stress we’ve been under. At the time, I didn’t realize how each new piece of the diagnosis/prognosis was such a blow. But now I question a lot of what we’ve been told. I have a lot of questions for her doctor at her next appointment which is in two weeks.
We were told as recently as a few days ago that she might go through this again. To which I might add, “And she may not.” Maybe we are on that path and maybe not. And that’s where my dilemma lies. On which side of that prognosis do I live? Do I go on with my life and take days off when I need to? Do I or do I not spend time at the cabin this spring and summer?
I know that if it were me, I would want my children to get on with their lives. So that brings me to one of my favorite topics to write about, choices.
We are always making them.
For example, I can choose to sit and question my every move from now till whenever. I can ignore my husband, my family, my friends, myself. Will any of this make a difference in what happens?
Not at all.
I can choose to ignore the possible outcome and get on with my life. Will that make any difference in the final outcome?
Not at all.
The choice lies somewhere in between, doesn’t it? And that’s the tough thing about choices.
Sometimes choices are clear, no room for questioning. But many times, they’not. They’re like jello, moving every time we touch them. And sometimes there is no all-the-time right or wrong choice. Like now.
So I will probably do both. I will visit with my mom most days. But I will go to the cabin as well. I just won’t go for as many days in a row and always it will depend on how she’s doing.
I’m a Christian so I believe that while God won’t give me a blueprint for the future, he does promise to guide me every day.
I think I’ve probably told you that when I was a teen-ager I took our church’s challenge to learn one bible verse per week for a year. I did. One of the first ones I memorized was Proverbs 3: 5-6.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not (totally) trust your own thoughts. Acknowledge God in everything you do, and he will direct (guide) your paths.”
It doesn’t say how God will lead and it doesn’t say what he’ll lead us to do and it certainly doesn’t say “when. It just says he will. BUT, and this is perhaps the most important part, it says first I have to believe he will lead. Secondly, the verse says that I shouldn’t trust my own understanding of the situation.
I’m listening to a series on the Beatitudes by pastor Andy Stanley. One of his statements, “Fear of dying will rob you of the fear of living. All our lives are bookended”, I find especially true. In my own words:
All our lives have a period.
My mom has lived a long life. I have been fortunate to have her this long. Would I want her to live longer even if she was really sick just so I wouldn’t have to grieve and miss her so much? I know that answer to that. NO.
“Happy are those with no guilt, no regret, and a clear conscience.”
Because I have a tendency to feel guilty whether I should or not, I may have a hard time with that part. But I”m working on it.
So whatever choices you are making today, remember
- You and you alone are making those choices.
- You are always making choices.
Rather than reinvent the “posting” wheel, here’s some links from previous posts you might find helpful.
Pastor Stanley says that “we suffer for doing the right thing and we suffer for doing the wrong thing, so which side do you want to be on?But you can only be happy on one side of that equation. The happy person can be happy doing the right thing but you can not be happy doing the wrong.”