Years ago when I started this blog I did so to write about my experiences while running and to give you a glimpse of what it's like to run in my shoes.
Today I share with you a different kind of race.
A marathon of 15 years run by a woman I am blessed to call Mom.
She is in the final miles of her race and is beginning to feel that rush we all feel as we approach the finish line.
A feeling of accomplishment with her hands raised in victory.
She continues to run toward her prize.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
It was a hot Friday morning in mid-July. The chair she was sitting on just went cold. She stared at the nurse crying before her and not certain on what to say. This was not the reaction she had expected. The laughter she and her sister were just enjoying now silent. She glances at her sister; then back to the nurse.
Last week's CT scan told them why the stomach pains had gotten severe. The cancer had metastasized to her liver. She knew what that meant. After 15 years of sitting in the Chemo Chair she had lost enough friends to know what lay ahead.
So this is what it came to.
August, September and October were filled with the harshest of chemo therapies. None of which were working. Just when she started feeling better, another round in the Chemo Chair would make her sick and brought no improvement against the cancer she fought.
A rainy Tuesday in November she phoned the doctor's office. She told the nurse she wanted to meet with the doctor before the Chemo Chair; her decision made.
The doctor told her what any good doctor would tell her - the truth. She knew her options, after 15 years one knows. Today she was choosing quality over quantity. She rises out of the chair and tells the doctor goodbye.
The nurses - her friends - shed tears. After 15 years they have shared a lot in each other's lives. Oh she'll stop in to see them, but it will be different.
She turns to walk out the door. She walks away from 15 years of doctors and nurses and surgeries and needles and the Chemo Chair and the healing poison that ran through her body. The door opens and she steps into a different life, a shorter life - yet one she is still grateful to live.
Although her days are fewer in front of her than lay behind her she knows God has only given each of us this day. God has comforted her, held her and blessed her in ways she would never have known if cancer hadn't been in her life. And in that she finds much joy. Despite the hurt and sadness and fear, God has given her much joy.
With dignity she walks through that door. With gratitude to God she embraces the life now before her. A life always worth living.