Lest you think there is nothing but heartache in this house, let me begin by saying this has been a glorious month of Proms, Soccer and Lacrosse Tournaments, sunny days, good surf, bike rides along the beach, barbeques and meals outside. Today we sailed out of San Diego Harbor on our friends' 32' sailboat. We anchored near a hidden cove and my children jumped from the bow to swim to shore. We lingered long enough to eat lunch and soak in some sun. The sun was out, but the wind was steady. It was, as several have been this month, a perfect day. In two short weeks, school will be out for summer. Life is good.
In the midst of this enchanted time, my mom's sister lost her short battle with cancer. She left us on June 1, and she was not ready to go. She was an extremely youthful 76 years young. She took incredible care of herself - healthy diet, annual doctor visits, daily excercise. She looked great, and hadn't seemed to age at all for at least 20 years. Out of absolutely nowhere, she suffered what we thought was a stroke. Further diagnosis indicated cancer in the liver, and in 6 weeks time from diagnosis - she is gone. Unlike the other family members who have left us this year, Ginny didn't want to go.
The very night before she died, I nearly posted a prayer request. I regret today that I didn't. I procrastinated, and now she's gone. Earlier that week she charged my cousin with the job of keeping her alive. "Don't let me die," she whispered in his ear. It broke his heart, and mine when I heard of it. That night I prayed for her to have peace, for God to meet her where she was at, to comfort her, to give her a glimse of heaven. I have a modicum of faith that God answered my prayer that night --perhaps Ginny saw the glimpse of heaven I had hoped for her. Perhaps this made it easier for her to go. She knows the answers to all of these questions now. I can only guess, and hope. I ask you to pray for my cousin, who today knows that he was unable to grant his dying mother's wish. Pray for him to find faith in all of this -- to see the very glimpse of heaven I had hoped for his mother. Pray for him to have peace, for God to meet him where he is at, to comfort him. Pray for him to come face to face with Jesus.
Today, as the wind filled the sails and the boat rose and fell in the manner of the sea, I felt an incredible peace -- the peace that passes all understanding. I allowed all of my senses to experience the moment - the wind, the sun, the undulation of the waves, the salty smell of the sea -- and I knew in my soul that this moment, that every moment, is a gift. I love this place, this planet earth. I love the smell of the ocean, the feeling of the sun on my skin, the sound of the voices of my children, my husband, people I love engaged in conversation. I know that no matter how many days I will have of this, it will not be enough. I will wish I had more. I try to etch it all into my soul. And as I record this moment, this peaceful moment, I can remember another moment long ago, when I am surrounded by the sounds of laughter and voices of those who have gone from this place on to the next. I can almost see myself, a tiny child, and hear the laughter of my cousins and I as we played under the watchful eyes of our young parents.
Perhaps that laughter still lives on the wind, echoing in the sails.