The following was written over five years ago by a man who was wrestling with life and death questions.  I ran across it within the past several days.  Perhaps the day may come in all of our lives when our conditions will be similar to his.  In the meantime, we can envision, perhaps prepare, and even now identify with some of his thoughts.  [The author made it plain to me that he wishes to be anonymous.  He said he is not looking for sympathy.  He will be gratified, however, if his reflections can strengthen someone, as well as point to the reality that is available to God’s children.]

     The past 7 days have been very difficult.  Last Thursday, when Ann met with her oncologist, he told her that the symptoms of the presence of cancer had jumped over 50%.  The efficacy of her current treatment had bottomed out.  New measures would be necessary, measures that would have more noticeable and negative side effects.  Blood work and scans, some already done, would help him arrive at a new assessment of her situation. 

            We have done some crying together since this new development.  We know that unless the Lord does some kind of miracle, time is getting rather short for us.  Daily I pray more times than I bother counting for Ann’s healing.  I also pray that she will be spared pain.  She is having to deal with the thought of the worsening of the cancer and the resulting death.  She is incredibly gutsy, but death is still death. 

            Last night, when we gave each other the Valentine cards, it was painful, of course.  We talked about facing reality.  But even with that, the reality is more than what the future brings.  Reality is also today.  And, the future is more than sickness and death.  It is also heaven.  Acceptance of reality involves all of that.

            We are committed to enjoying the time we have together.  Yes, I want it to not have any kind of separation, but that is not reality for either of us.  We are both in bodies that are like ships that will eventually sink.  We don’t know precisely when the storm may come for either of us, but we do know that eventually the storm arrives, and the ship goes under.  In the mean time, we enjoy sharing the journey each other has.

            But, I still get very emotional.  Yesterday, when I saw Ann, accompanied by one of her friends, leave for a little outing, I thought of the fact that one day, an angel will accompany her to the Lord’s presence.  Yes, I will miss her beyond words, but she will be better off.  The angel will not as much be taking her away from me, but taking her home.  I will have had the privilege of her presence for these many years, but she is still more God’s daughter than she is my wife.  I have to stop – it hurts too much.