Cancer. There can't possibly be many words on Earth more frightening. Three weeks ago my stepmom, Diane, went to the hospital with pneumonia. While there, the docs took a sample of the fluid in her chest and found it to be malignant. A hundred tests and one week later, it was confirmed that she has stage four lung cancer. And she's forgoing treatment.
I think a ton of bricks fell on my chest. It doesn't seem real. When I talk to Diane, she sounds so good. Healthy. Strong. But it's in there, tearing apart her body. Tearing apart my Daddy's heart with it. Diane seems to be at peace. She trusts in Jesus. She is ready to meet her maker.
The rest of us, especially my dad, are another story. He can't sleep, can't eat. I can see it in his eyes. They've gone a little dimmer. His face is thin and tired. I am praying so hard that God would intervene and fill him up with peace. That my dad might be able to say, through the deepest possible pain, that he knows it will be okay. That he knows that God will equip him in every way. Diane does. I do.
I love Diane so much. She has been part of my life almost as long as I can remember. Even before she and my dad were together, she was a friend of my parents. To this day, she and my mom still love each other and get along wonderfully. Growing up, she sat through almost all of my ballgames, plays, and performances. She's been there for it all. Mostly, though, I love her for how she loves my daddy.
As a little girl who was brokenhearted over her parents' divorce, I wanted my dad to be happy again and share his life with someone great. She is what I prayed for, more than what I could have even thought to ask for him. She loves and takes care of my dad in a way that I can't fully explain. She makes him laugh, makes him strong. She is his best friend. I am so thankful for the life she breathed into our broken little family.
Right now, it's hard to think about how our lives are going to change. We're grateful for this time. Grateful for the life she still has yet to live. Grateful for the memories yet to be made. For vacations. For skydiving. For for fireflies and fireworks. For frisbee. For laughing. For the love we all still share.
Our hearts are heavy, but that's because they are so full of love, and that kind of love isn't easy to come by, so we're hanging on tight.