Broken glass is rough,sharp and totally beautiful when the sun hits it. The sparkle Is blinding at times. There is a sort of reflection going on right now in life when I think of broken glass. Sparkling, beautiful, but oh so painful when it cuts Being told I had ALS was a time of shattering glass and taught me that you must prepare for the unexpected and not always count on living to a ripe old age.
“A kid is a kid for just a short time. A kid needs a mom, and my mom would want you to be her. “. Those were the words my niece Kathryn used when she came to live with us after my sisters death. She knew that we would take good care of her. We were the only ones she trusted. She was 14 years old when her mom my sister Christine died of metastatic breast cancer. Upon our return from a two-week trip to England, Kathryn arrived at our home with her sister. We had the privilege of seeing her soar with a successful high school life, move into a life of college, work and friends. Seven years passed quickly till she turned 21 years old. She wasn’t quite ready to drive but was living in her own place by that age. We were thrilled with her progress.
Two months after she turned 21, she was killed by a young man who stole a vehicle and ran her down after going great speeds. This life-changing event is not one I need to really deal with here as far as logistics but I need to talk about what I learned from it. It was the first time in my life I was subjected to pure evil and yet pure joy in the support of the people that I loved.
From the morning of that tragic event til through the trial and sentencing three years of my life passed before me . I changed careers and changed the way I thought about other relationships. My sense of gratitude became heightened in all things. This fresh perspective has really helped to get me through this new diagnosis of ALS. I spent a lot of time on her memory but it was essential to grieve in order to move on and understand that not everyone is privileged to have a long life. As I picked up the tiny shards of glass, I took each one and realized what a journey I have been on.
The first realization I had, was that I was not alone. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband, daughters, and a family that surpassed my dreams. I have been blessed with many friends that have come to my aid reçently to provide me with care and provided the best nursing care. Jillian, Brittany, Stacy, Donna R, Trisha, Jeff, Jenny, Brigida, Rachel, Jenny M, Donna T, Leslie W, Leslie R, Wendy G, Dee and Stu, Dee and Tracy, you are my A team, you are the angels that back Graham up, Week after week, offering help where I need it most. It was worth being in relationship and loving these angels prior to getting sick.
The next thing I thought was that my faith is probably the most important aspect to this whole journey. It gave me the ability to remove this horrible fate and put it in the hands of the Big Guy and know that He is going to be in charge of my life anyway so I might as well trust. I do believe in eternal life because that’s what my Bible teaches. It also tells me that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light. Áll I have to do is trust in him. I know that is not everyone’s belief but it is mine and I know that I trust In that promise so much, that it has relieved my fear of just dying and not being in life and the longer. It is the reason why I choose to live a joyful, fearless life and know that I am covered. This truth and enables a life that is win win. Either way, I will kiss my grandchildren before they get to earth or I will see them when I am living whole again in heaven.
What ever job you have the privilege of doing, do it with passion and joy. When you are burnt out, tired and just plain don’t like your job anymore, either renew your enjoyment or leave it and know that it is only temporary. I learned all about that when I left my job as a preschool director. I did the same job for 23 years. I truly loved what I did, but was very tired. I prayed hard about what I should do and asked God to close the door. Well he did and that was a pure revelation of joy for me. I stayed in the field a few more years but when it was done I was truly appreciative. The people I truly love to have come back into my life in such an important way I am so glad for my real friends. Yes, there is a lot of life left and new purpose is always a good thing. I don’t believe in burning bridges but I do believe in jumping off when necessary.
Stop and breathe once in a while. I found that times in life that I just had to slow down, I found such beauty in small things. Your children grow up before your eyes, the flowers bloom, bud, and fall off In their short lifetime. I am convinced that stopping is so necessary to renewing energy and the ability to appreciate all that you have been given. Be in the quiet once in a while as well. We turn the television off and enjoy that one steamy, delicious cup of coffee together every day. We have the richest and deepest conversations at that time. It has truly been Joyful to experience quiet with my beloved. Appreciate what you have been given while you have it. There I go, thinking about Kathryn again.
These basic truths took me a lifetime to figure out but when I did, it became the biggest source of love I could experience.