December 29th, the day before my birthday was when "terminal" struck our life. The doctor didn't say it but I know enough that when I hear the words mass and metastacized in the same sentence I just know. Emotions begin to swirl-horror, fear, denial, questioning, defeat, then finally joy. I know right, joy. Well, I'm a "terminally" optimistic individual and I have this odd quirk that I seek out joy-I try to find the crazy blessing in every situation because I believe somewhere, someway there must be one!
In the last 33 days, we have lived in a whoosh of phone calls, instant messages, day trips, overnight trips, doctor visits, internet searches and deep conversations where parts are inaudible because we were speaking with our hearts. As I woke up this morning with a smile on my face, I decided to embrace the crazy blessings that are coming from this "terminal" situation. I decided that I needed to share with you a few things I have experienced.
1. Terminal can give you the opportunity to heal. Even though the outcome is death, the healing that comes is on a spiritual and emotional level. In the words of Quantum Leap "to right what once went wrong." My relationship with this particular "terminal" has been a bit rocky. Terminal hasn't been perfect yet neither have I. We come from two different worlds with differing opinions and even some differing beliefs. Our binding chord however is our love for and devotion to one common individual. Even though it's been difficult, I have grown to care for, respect and love...even before "terminal." I'm thankful that I have been given time-no matter how short-to heal. Perhaps those of us who are left can also heal and enjoy a second chance at a relationship.
2. Terminal can give you the opportunity to savor the end and actually say goodbye. Everyone says when you have a bandaid you should rip it off quickly so the pain is quick instead of slowly peeling it back millimeter by millimeter whining and complaining the whole way. Even though terminal may only be weeks or months, it isn't a quick removal kind of bandaid nor should it be agonizing. Instead I believe that "terminal" is removing the bandaid slowly using a soothing salve that lessens the sting. Terminal is time to process, accept and begin to heal before...and even though it is difficult to utter the word terminal to family and friends it is so necessary so we can be surrounded and lifted by those who love us. It also gives them the opportunity to lessen their bandaid moment with a little of that soothing salve.
3. Terminal gives us the opportunity to provide the ultimate gift to the one we love--the gift of experiencing our love during a very scarey time. We are able to lift them up, to assure them that we will be okay, that we will remember them and carry their legacy to future generations.
So today, whether you are crazy blessed with no "terminal" in your life or crazy blessed to know "terminal" remember we are all terminal....life is waiting but for how long? Seize it today!