Friday, September 9, 2011


Sorry I was absent from the blog again yesterday. It seems I had so much to share, and yet couldn't find the words to process what I needed to say. I'm still not entirely sure I'm ready.

I love my jobs. The one God chose for me, and the one I chose for myself. They are so entirely different, and yet connected and similar all at the same time. Parallel might be a good word.

At home, I'm surrounded by LIFE...young, vibrant, energetic, optimistic and hopefilled little ones. Fearless and carefree and trusting because they've not yet experienced real pain or disappointment, or heartbreak, or loss of any kind. And yet, completely dependent on John and I to provide and care for them. It's refreshing and exhausting all at once. I love these lives and the fullness they bring to mine.

At work, the lives that touch mine are ones who've seen a lifetime of love and loss. Their spirits are strong even when their physical selves are tired and failing. They have experienced joys and sorrows. Their eyes are filled with the wisdom that comes with knowing real love and loss. They have watched their children grow, and some have even seen their children pass from this world before them. While many remain active and strong in service to others, many more have become dependent on others to care for them. I love these lives and the fullness they bring to mine.

On Thursday, I was asked to accompany a woman and her husband to her first consultation with an oncologist. I won't go into great detail, but the news was the worst. No cure. Inoperable. Only treatments for comfort measures. And things are moving fast. Time is short. It was a tough pill to swallow. (In case I've never said it before, Cancer sucks.)
And as we sat for the long car ride home, mostly in silence, I couldn't help but think what a difficult journey lay ahead of them. Her simple words still ring in my ears, "I'm not afraid of dying, I just worry about all I'm leaving behind."

Over these last couple days, I'm left with so many thoughts resonating...the value of life at all stages. My heart aching for this couple, as husband learns to become caregiver for his up-until-now independent wife. I think about the uncertainties in our own lives here, and while we all know earth is just our trial, it's all we know. It's comfortable, and familiar, and our most treasured gifts...our peeps...are right here. And yet, we have to live our lives ready to let go. No clinging. Because clinging makes it harder when we get those words...if we're gifted to recieve those words...because most of us won't get a "final notice."
I don't know. Is recieving the news that you have a short amount of time to live a gift? That's been swimming in my head too. How much would those words change what's important in our lives, change what we're clinging to, and more importantly change what we're willing to let go of?

Regardless, they thanked me incessantly for going to the appointment with them. I am the one feeling incredibly grateful, humbled, privelaged. Truly, when our lives connect like this, and we can feel love and compassion, we are living in that moment the way God wants us to. We are in fact one body. And to feel each other's pain is feeling Christ's pain. Denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following him.

May you feel the blessings of a life truly lived.


Anonymous said...

Jamie... I applaud you for taking that role on of being that special person that accompanied this couple to their appt. They were very lucky to have your compassionate, loving and Christian heart with them as they received this news. As a hospice nurse, I know how hard it is and often how lonely for the patients that get this news. God Bless You for being there for them!

Amber said...

Your perspective on things just touches my heart and soul. I am moved to tears when I read your blog, and I have only started following it recently. I am so very excited to attend the Inspirational Night at the coffee shop to hear your speak.