When Cancer Changes Everything- Part 3

Read Part 1 of When Cancer Changes Everything

Read Part 2 of When Cancer Changes Everything

What do you think people will see when they look back at YOUR life?

On Memorial Day 2016, we celebrated my mom’s life surrounded by our friends and family. The church auditorium was full of the people who loved my mom and people she loved so dearly. Each and every person that was in that building was touched by my mom in a special way.

The service couldn’t have been more beautiful. It was full of music and worship, which is exactly what my mom would have wanted. A couple of people spoke during the service and had nothing but the kindest and most positive things to say about her. After the service we had a reception line. We as a family greeted everyone who attended the service.

“Your mom was such a special lady.”
“Your mom served everyone so selflessly.”
“I loved your mom so much.”
“Your mom was an amazing and faithful friend to me.”
“Your mom was always so kind and gracious.”
“Your mom loved the Lord so beautifully.”

As I think about all these amazing things people had to say about her it makes me think about what people would say about me. What if my husband, my dad or my sister were standing in that reception line.

What would people be saying to them about me? 

I consider myself a nice person. I love my family and friends dearly and I would do anything for them, but do they truly know that I feel that way? I honestly don’t know. I would like to think they know how much I care and love them, but would I leave the same impression on their hearts that my mom has left on so many?

I say this because I have found myself examining my relationships and see so many times I didn’t do it right. I certainly don’t expect perfection, but I want to choose to love, respect, appreciate, care, serve and celebrate the people I love dearly no matter what.

I want the people in my life who were hard to love at times to walk through that receiving line and feel that I genuinely loved them even if I found it difficult sometimes.
I want the friend who I haven’t talked to in years to walk through that line and still know how much I cared for her even if there was distance.
I want there to be nothing left unsaid that is necessary to say in a relationship.
I want to forgive, be forgiven and leave no bitterness behind.
I don’t want to continue thinking about how much I care for someone without them truly KNOWING and FEELING how much I care.

One of my personal mottos is, “There is never a reason to be unkind.”

I say this all the time, but I need to tattoo this on my forehead (don’t worry, dad, I won’t!) so whenever I look in the mirror I am reminded to be kind always! I hope that someday I don’t actually need a tattoo and I can just look in the mirror and just naturally see kindness when I look at my reflection.

I want my family to hear healing words in my reception line. Those beautiful things people said about my mom were healing for me. They reassured me that her amazing testimony is going to live on forever because of how she touched people in her life. I love feeling that reassurance that she certainly was a good and faithful servant to everyone around her and to her Heavenly Father.

Thank you, mom, for being so inspiring. 

Even though this is the final part to this blog series, this certainly is not the end of this story. I learn something new about this journey every single day and grow in different ways. I am not thankful my mom isn’t here anymore, but I am thankful for the pieces of her that she has left behind in our hearts and I am thankful for how God has continued to use her story for the good of others. I plan to continue sharing her journey forever and truly believe God is and will do some incredible things through it.

So I leave you with these two questions one last time.

Are YOU strong enough to lay in a hospital bed and trust God implicitly with your life?

and

What do you think people will see when they look back at YOUR life?

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7 thoughts on “When Cancer Changes Everything- Part 3

  1. Ro

    Thank you for sharing your heart! I lost my grandmother and my husband recently loss his grandmother to cancer and it’s tough. It’s horrible and it’s painful watching your loved one go through something like that. Thank you for sharing your heart and I appreciate your willingness to focus on what God is going to do through it/how He’s going to use the pain. God is truly good and has been a huge source of strength for us in our grief. Thank you again for sharing!

    • elisa

      Thank you Ro! I am so sorry that your family has been on this journey too! Its is so sad how many families have been effected by cancer. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have God as my source of strength. <3

  2. Beth

    It sounds like your mom was an extraordinary person. Losing someone you love is a tough journey to have to take, but it sounds like you’re finding your way and growing through this sad experience. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  3. Courtney

    This is so beautiful. It was a joy to read. I am sorry for your lost, but it seems like you’ve been able to find some good in it and joy in it. I’ve been really pondering the thought of what will people say about me when I’m gone too? It’s a great question to think about and then formulate your life around what you hope that is. Thanks for sharing!

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