Over the past few months (10 to be exact), I have been thinking about death. I know that sounds morbid, so let me clarify. I am not living in fear of death. I wouldn't say it consumes my thoughts. But, some people who I am very close to have been hit with the reality of death. So, since January's news from a dear friend, a day doesn't go by without me taking in the "what if's" of this fragile life.
Our neighbor, Mr. Ralph, has been diagnosed with a very rare cancer. I can't even tell you what it is. His sweet wife, Jerri, showed me a slip of paper with the diagnosis written on it. I had never heard of it before. Within the past two months, he has become very ill. The round of chemo that was given to him at UMC did not work. Therefore, they will not do it again. He is currently in the hospital on medication to eliminate the pain and keep him comfortable. From what I have heard, he is not expected to come back home.
On a side note, when we first moved into this house, Caleb was 3 and he called Mr. Ralph -- "Mr. Rat". Then, when Collin began speaking clearly, he called him "Giraffe" -- I guess that's what it sounded like to him. No speech therapists needed, though. At 5 and 3, they both say it correctly now.
Since Mr. Ralph has been away from home, there are several things that I miss. I miss seeing him working in the garage/yard/etc. and yelling "Hey Amy" from his work.
I miss his smile as he carried on a conversation with us. Mr. Ralph likes to talk. :)
I miss how much the boys enjoyed talking to him and how patient he was with them.
But, most of all, we are missing the lights. The Petrosinos are known in Clinton for the MANY lights they put up at Halloween and Christmas. It just doesn't feel right that their yard is empty during October. Last weekend, they had a garage sale. I watched as the yard accessories that I have seen lit up for the past 3 years were carried away by others. And, the reality of his sickness set in. What an impact Mr. Ralph made by exhibiting some holiday cheer!
We all have the opportunity to make an impact on the lives that we touch. The truth is, as a believer, I should be impacting each and every life that I touch. Not by the words that I say but the life that I live. The joy and peace that comes from knowing that I was created by God out of His great love for me should be overflowing and evident.
So, why is the joy and peace not overflowing and evident? Here's my short list of probable causes for the "not so great" impact I make on most lives daily...
1. I get woken up entirely too early each day by a very demanding 5 year old.
2. I have to do more for three children prior to 8:00 a.m. each morning than I ever dreamed I would do in an entire day.
3. The whining!!!
4. Everyone in my family is hungry all of the time, and I am the "fixer" of that problem...apparently.
5. The whining!!!
6. Fighting/fussing children that need a referee more than a Mom.
7. Laundry that never ends.
8. A dishwasher that is ALWAYS full of clean dishes needing to be put up.
9. And, did I mention, the whining?!?
Now, that was a gripe session intended more for humor than anything else. Because, these are no reasons for my joy and my peace to be unseen.
What could be worse than all of these things I have listed? For any one of them to come to an end.
You see, what God has been teaching me since January is that ALL of life is a gift. The things I complain about today could be gone tomorrow and nothing I could do would bring them back.
I pray that God will continually teach me how to ENJOY Him daily through the gifts that He has blessed me with -- not in spite of them. And, I pray that enjoying Him will lead others in a search for the One who provides life in the only manner that truly works.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
When you think about it, pray with me for Mr. Ralph and his family. Pray for their peace during this difficult time. Also, pray specifically for Mr. Ralph -- that he would trust God completely with this life and the life to come. Scotty was able to visit with him in the hospital on Sunday. He told Ralph that we wanted him to fight and get better, but, if he wasn't able, Scotty told him to tell Jesus "hello" for him. What a sweet thought.
We love you, Mr. Ralph. We will never be the same after having known you. I pray that my life is as meaningful to those around me. You have been a blessing!
You rarely know how things will turn out, but... - [image: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8uoyk5Jw2XILk-cR6Bf8KqzjZqfjgToMotvqsvK0P4ewgkhwQmA] Denzel Washington starred in the movie ...
1 year ago