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Life is Short, So Go Long

Thu, Sep. 08, 2016 Posted: 11:59 AM


Mother and daughter sat together in the special room used for discussing medical options. The news of terminal cancer had already been delivered and now plans were being made for the time remaining.

No one wants these meetings, but they happen every day.

When they were alone again, the mom took her daughter’s hand and asked “We know how I’m doing, but how are you doing?” A dying mom wondering how her daughter will fare with such devastating news. In truth, the daughter was more scared than she’d ever been.

The treatment options would hopefully extend her life by a year, and this determined mom would make the most of it. And she did.

Every chemo infusion became an excuse for a party. She and her daughter would bring party hats and small gifts to share with other patients. Even her doctors and nurses had to wear party hats. Fear was not invited to the parties.

And the smiles were infectious.

The months went by and the cancer advanced, but the parties continued. Now it included Millie, a service dog dressed in a colorful tutu, who delivered her own special kind of joy.

Even when treatment was halted, mom and daughter continued to visit patients. It was an opportunity to laugh, to love, and yes, to live.

The story’s ending was determined months before, but what really made a difference is that this mom showed her daughter that life is short, so go long.

And she left behind one final gift—a year’s worth of laughter, love, and Millie, a dog so sensitive to the heart of suffering, that the daughter continues to visit oncology wards—with party hats and a smile that delivers medicine no drug can possibly give.

Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me. Psalm 23:4

Karen Farris