Today, I received some sad news and I can think of no clever title and no witty thing to say for this post. Today, a friend sent me an email telling me that she is losing her battle with cancer – she is now on palliative care.
I long to put my arms around her and comfort her, but she lives far away.
We only knew each other for a short period of time, but she made a big impression upon me. It is strange, since we are two VERY different people but somehow, we managed to connect. I met her through a Christian Singles group at church.
When she found out that I was newly diagnosed with cancer, she seemed to take me under her wing. She had had her own battle with cancer and she wanted to make sure that I was living as healthily as possible to help combat the disease. To that end, she would regularly bring me gifts of fresh fruit, nuts and nutritional advice. She was born and raised in Hong Kong, so I was also introduced to some aspects of Chinese medicine.
We also shared a love of nature and so I would plan nature hikes for us to go on together. She would always bring some healthy snacks to share. And of course, we both had our cameras!
Her generosity of spirit was truly manifested when she invited me to go on a holiday to Florida with her and a friend. I was not able to work at the time and so I had very little money. She told me that if I could come up with the cost of the airfare, she would cover the rest of the expenses. And so she did and so we went.
I had a wonderful time with her! We went to Sea World, Epcot, Busch Gardens, Arabian Nights, Bok Tower Gardens, and had many small adventures in-between. She even took us shopping to a large Asian grocery store and then prepared a wonderful, authentic Chinese meal for us! I will always treasure the memories of that trip.
Shortly afterwards, life led me to move very far away but we kept in touch with emails and sharing beautiful photos of nature.
Not long after I had moved, I found out that she was once again battling cancer. She has been battling it for the past 3 years. And yet she still continues to minister to me! Her faith in God, her hope, her courage, and her joy, even in this difficult time, inspire me. She has not walked away from God in bitterness and anger. She diligently seeks Him every day. She finds comfort, peace, strength, courage and hope when she reads God’s Word. She acknowledges that God is walking with her through this trial.
Every day, she does her best to look for things for which to be thankful. Today, she told me that she was thankful for the nurses who come to her home to empty her drainage bag. She was thankful that she was able to sleep a bit better due to a decrease in abdominal pressure. She expressed thankfulness at being able to get out to vote in an important provincial election. She was even thankful that although the activity caused her to have pain in her legs, she was glad that she could get out to enjoy some of the Spring weather.
How can you not help but be inspired by someone like that!?
I believe that she is the kind of person to whom God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”.
It is easy to be inspirational when everything is rosy, it is entirely another matter to be able to inspire while you are going through a fiery furnace.
May we all aspire to inspire.