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Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday From a Broken Heart

I can't post a picture of Kristi and I together. I don't have one. In fact, when we lived close, I can't say that I did anything out of the ordinary to build a relationship with her. It isn't because I was rude or unkind, just because of where we both were in our lives at the time. I was newly married and had moved across the country from a place where I was surrounded by family and the people who knew me well to a place where I had one man to lean on and a whole new world of people and places. So to pick one out of the many who already had established relationships and history was hard and I was young and immature.
Pray for the Maxwell's!

Fast forward to us today. It was probably around 2009 when we connected on Facebook. My family had moved across the country back to my home and she was in Georgia. I remember when we became Facebook friends pouring over her pictures and trying to get to know her family. She was married now with four beautiful children. We sent small little notes back and forth, "liking" and commenting on each other's pictures like some on Facebook do.

The thing that made Kristi stand out among the Facebook friends on my list is that when I sent her a message or posted on her wall, she would respond. It is amazing how much you can share across the miles, especially when you have things in common and all of the "young and immature" grown out of you! It was exciting to go through a pregnancy with her and wait with anticipation for the first pictures of that sweet new little one. I too oohed and ahhed over that beautiful little boy. We talked of making sure we get together next time we visit Georgia.

There were a few times that I remember thinking how I felt like I know her so much better now than I did when we lived close. When she was diagnosed with cancer we shared some messages back and forth and I promised to be praying. She told me that she felt comfort in the fact that I knew what she was going through having recently gone through cancer myself. I was a little doubtful at the time not remembering nearly as much uncertainty in my journey. As her path continued to be laid out before her I was sure that I was running out of personal experience to pull from. But my admiration and respect only grew as I continued to check in with her and send her a few things in hopes to brighten her day.

There are a few very small things that I can shed light on having gone through cancer myself, but her experience left me in the dust months ago. I sit here now and think about how fast the hope in this life turned to acceptance in the last month. We had written back in December about a possible trip to Georgia this summer and how we should plan to spend time together introducing our families to each other. I think of that through tears right now because as I type, Kristi is in her last days at a hospice care center where they can give her what she needs for the pain. 

Those who are close to her want that pain to end for her. Those of us who have been driven to distraction praying for her and her family want that for her too. She has taught me so much, she has given so much and as I type I wonder how can this be happening? I am thankful for Facebook. I am thankful for the notes I can read through. I am thankful that she knows her Lord. I am thankful that she is in His hands and I am deeply and profoundly sad.

The last couple of months in my house have been calmer. My heart has been calmer, I have brushed aside the world's lie that things should be busy, busy, busy and that kids should be doing, doing, doing. My house isn't as clean as it probably could or should be. But, is there an update on the things that really matter? There certainly is!
  • There is less yelling from a frazzled Mom
  • There is much more talking to the Lord
  • There is more reading His Word
  • There is more patience for myself and for others
  • There is more laughing
  • There is more crying
  • There are more moments that are worth remembering
  • There are again more moments around the dinner table eating together as a family
  • There are better behaved children
  • There is more peace
  • There is more time spent on the things that matter
  • There is less trivial
  • There are more lessons learned
  • There is more love flowing through us all
What do I attribute this to in the Sloan home? Well, sometimes people come into your lives to teach you that one day there may not be a tomorrow. I think that is what God wants us to think about when he tells us in Psalm 90:12 to number our days aright. The question each day then becomes "How can I make this my best last day?" Because the truth is, cancer or no cancer, someday we all will wake up to our last day on earth. I can tell you from where I am sitting, I want mine to be a good one, WHENEVER it occurs. .

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