I had another post in mind for today, but a more pressing matter has consumed me this week.
I've been reading Emily Meyer's blog, The Freckled Fox, for nearly two years. I stumbled upon her while searching for larger blogs to place some advertising on. I was struck by her ease and style. Emily seemed like the kind of woman who lived with intention. Despite having five kids under six, she still managed to produce quality, informative and uplifting content for her readers. Her beautiful spirit quite literally leaps from the page.
Last year Emily shared that her husband, Martin, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma Cancer. Instantly, I told Jordan he needed to have his skin checked as skin cancer runs in his family (not melanoma, but still). I couldn't imagine being a few months shy of delivering my fifth child and hearing such lifer altering news.
Sympathy doesn't always come naturally to me. My skin crawls when excuses and blame come out of others' mouths. Let's face it, life is hard. No one ends their life without trials, but most of us have it pretty good in comparison with many around the world. American middle-class kids can only blame their parents for so long, you know? While I struggle with doling out sympathy, as I've gotten older, my empathy well has expanded.
The blogging community "introduces" me to many people I may never meet in person, but their stories don't leave me. I haven't stopped thinking of Emily and her family since the day I read this blog post about Martin's diagnosis.
Earlier this week Emily shared words we all hope we'll never have to write. I sat on my couch crying. Emily's family was in my dreams last night.
“I could feel my heart getting heavier with every word of her explanation. Then [the doctor] took a deep breath and said those words so apologetically, “I mean we’re talking a few weeks here, maybe.” I can’t even explain what that felt like. All I know is that I was holding his warm hand, and I saw our five little babies in my mind, and I knew that no matter what happened to Marty that we would all be together. That our family was forever, and that everything would be OK, no matter what.”
Sadly, this isn't an isolated case. Everyday, loved ones will be given a life-altering diagnosis. We aren't guaranteed a long life, but I believe when Jesus promised he wouldn't leave us in the midst of struggles.
"Your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you." Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Message)
While I was in high school I experienced the deaths of several people my age. This gave me perspective on where I truly wanted to spend my time. I haven't adopted a lazy attitude of "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die," but I have learned to treasure the small pockets of now.
Invest in your friends and family. If your job is making you miserable, change it. Are you in a toxic relationship? Find a way to leave. For two years I spent 10+ hours a week in my car commuting. I looked into the future and decided I would live with a little less cash so I could live a more full and present life.
Travel, bless people, say YES, live with intention. Don't wait.
Please join me in praying for Emily as they prepare to say goodbye to Martin.
You can read about ways to help Emily here.