I lost a dear friend a few weeks back. She was my Chiopracter. We did not talk on the phone every day. Nor did we see each other outside of my doctor visits to her. But, when we did see one another, it was always a good time and most of the time, a time of fellowship. She was not intimidated by my personality, as some. She could get by with humoring me and still knew when to take me serious. She laughed a lot and her smile is something I will always remember. Before I met her, I felt my life was destined for a lifetime of physical pain. Not having much hope in Chiopracters, hearing they were quacks all of my life, I gave her a shot. Karen was no quack. She cared greatly about her patients. She was never in a big hurry to scoot you out of the office. She listened well and more than once prayed with me. She gave me hope that I would not have to live the rest of my life in pain.
It had been a while seen I had seen her last. Well over a year. It was a surprise to me when my husband reading the newspaper, told me, “You had another friend to die.” I could not believe it. Who? How? What? When? She was one of the most healthy people I knew. She took care of her body, ate all the right foods, exercised, had no bad habits, etc.
I was able to find out she had just found out she had liver Cancer and was sent home with a month to live. She lived two weeks.
Knowing her as I did, I can only try and imagine what the last two weeks of her life were like. I doubt very much she was concerned about the things of this world. Other than for her children and husband and those closest to her. I imagine she was thinking more on the things of God. Not being overcome by the things of the world, not looking at world events. Other than knowing she was going to be taken home and would not have to live in this strange and foreign land any longer. She probably did a lot of praying for her family and friends. I can only hope I was one who may have been on her heart, even if for but a few seconds.
I began to ponder on my own life. What if I were told I had two weeks to live? Would it make any difference? I’ve heard people say that if they knew they had a few months or so to live they would visit someplace they have always wanted to go, go back to a place they always loved, go on a cruise, etc.
I thought about those things and came to the conclusion there really is not one place I would like to visit or anything I would try to do. It takes energy, stamina and strength to even begin doing those things. I have none due to poor health. None of the health issues in and of themselves life threatening, but combined can make every day life chores and events hard. Sometimes causing life to appear empty and void of any meaning.
A few days after Karen’s death, I began to notice a change taking place in me. Something in me had began to die. A calm, a quiet resolve began to settle in. I had been terribly angry over world events. Terribly bitter and unforgiving towards those who had hurt me the past few years. I had been searching out world events daily so I could know what was going on. Feeling a huge repsonsibility to shout from the rooftops of the evil coming through government and any and all aspects of society.
After Karen’s death, I began to not care – much. I began to see how the past four years had robbed me of so much. Being physically weak can and does rob a person of certain joys in life. A few days into my grief of Karen’s death, I reached a point where if I could not do anything different, at least I could stop handing my emotions over to the things I can not control.
I got the Shingles four years ago about this time http://redeemedhippiesplace.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/what-was-the-deal-with-job-2/ and it was not a nice time. Before Karen’s death, I had gotten myself back into the same state of mind as I had four years ago: As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly. — Proverbs:26:11 –
It is folly when a person does not learn the lesson God has in front of them. I sensed I was about to have to repeat that lesson again. No, I am not saying God gave me the Shingles to teach me a lesson. Staying upset constantly can make one sick in one way or the other. Tearing down our bodies defenses. Having the Shingles did teach me a few things, but I had forgotten. I guess sometimes it takes a certain amount of pain — in one way or the other — for some of us to learn. But, I thank God, at least I did not have to experience that particular painful malady again.
I also had asked a brother in Christ and his family to pray for me. I did not go into details other than telling him that I was angry. I trust that he and his family did began to pray for me. It was not long after that, I received the news of Karen’s death.
I began to see that most if not all my life had been of constant striving. Not of material things, as I am probably one of the least materislistic people you would ever meet. Not one of competiveness, as I’ve just not cared for that sort of thing. I much rather would spend time alone on creating something than competing. I ‘ve not strived towards goals as I am not goal oriented. Never have been and don’t see myself ever going there. Probably has more to do with my being led by emotions in almost everything I do. If I don’t feel like doing it, then I don’t do it. Not a good thing, but never-the-less, it is who I am. I really I’ve not strived to “be somebody” important. Not being one who is easily impressed, I don’t spend my life trying to impress others. That is why if you happened to run into me in public, you probably would see me in sweat pants and a T-shirt with no make-up. Those who truly know me, know these things are true.
Having said all that… the thing I have strived for has been peace of mind. I probably can count on one hand how many times I have had it and I can tell you, it was short lived. As soon as I thought I found it, then something came along and unhinged me. Sicknesses of family members, aging parents, dying parents, loved ones in nursing homes, loved ones with Alztimers, family problems, world events, etc. I literally would stop living. Taking on emotions I had no control over. Sadness, anxiety, fear, grief, etc. More than once, I felt like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz who told the wizard, “I don’t think you have anything in that little black bag for me.” Which led to self-pity, that led to shame for feeling ungrateful for what you do have! What a vicious cycle.
I wish I could tell you I found the secret to peace of mind. But I haven’t. I do know the Word of God says:
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. — Isaiah 26:3 –
That right there tells me that should be enough. It is hard to have peace if our eyes are on the world and things of the world. I can not do it anymore. I simply can not. If you are my friend and know me, then please be happy for me if I can not do this any longer. It takes too much energy, strength and stamina. I don’t have it to spend on such things. I long for that peace of God in all things.
We do not know how much time we have on this earth. A year ago, this coming October, I had a friend who went in the hosptail thinking she was going to get to come home. But she died just a couple of days later. http://redeemedhippiesplace.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/in-memory-of-ellen-another-redeemed-hippie/ Now, there is my friend Karen, who was given a month, but had only two weeks. I want to learn to live as if I had no tomorrow. God help me and may God help you, whoever you may be.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6,7 –