What really matters?
I’ve asked this a hundred times over the last 3 years since my husband’s diagnosis of cancer.
Before he passed, in the early stages of cancer diagnosis shock, what mattered was fighting it. Our lives were consumed with appointments and treatments and side effects. I didn’t even think of sadness or defeat. We focused on victory and being warrior strong. Oh we loved each other and what mattered was fighting the enemy, the big “C”. Then came the big “T” the word “terminal.” What mattered shifted to making time slow down, still fighting but the enemy was now… time, and somehow we needed to make every second count. Life became more and more precious as we had long conversations without words. Then suddenly, there was our last dance and good bye. All that mattered left with my beloved that day. And, for a long time, nothing mattered.
It was in this dark place of death, that I saw what I couldn’t see in the light of life. I saw how precious and life-giving relationships were. In the midnight of my loss the lights of frienship and sisterhood stood out more intensely. It was as if God had placed beautiful night lights along the path I must walk, so that, even in the deepest darkness of my grief I’d see a way through it all. In the valley of the shadow of death, I was not alone.
So… what matters now?
I am asking that question again… it’s been 2 and half years since my beloved husband and I had our last dance and I saw him into heaven. I’d have to say, along with the beautiful relationships God’s given me, I’d add… purpose to what matters. We do not find purpose alone. Purpose is in the moment you reach out into the stories and lives of sisters and friends. It’s looking into their eyes and seeing their heart. When someone took the time to look into my eyes, see my heart and hear my grief… I mattered. And… when I mattered… I had purpose… and meant something to someone.
It’s when I realized that God gave me life so I could speak life into someone else that this journey mattered. It’s when I could stand in the gap for someone hurting and pray for them that I found the ache of my grief lessen. It still aches terribly, but I have hope, that one day it will soften.