I had a friend (who is also a doctor) ask me today if the doctors gave me a prognosis. I asked for clarification on what he meant and he said "like a life expectancy". I said no they haven't, and he said "good, that's good, because your life is in God's hands and He is who determines all your days." Attempted (and received) comfort.
I thought little of it at the time, until later that same evening when I found out a distant friend's firstborn baby boy just passed away a day after his first birthday. He had complications throughout much of his first year, and then after finally getting to come home for a few months, he is no longer here. Thus makes real the question of life expectancy. Do any of us know our own life expectancy? How many have lived far beyond what anyone who knew them imagined? And how many have had their lives end much sooner than everyone thought they would live?
I think of a dear friend I went to high school with named Josh Burger. He is unashamed to say that he should have passed a long time ago because there really is no one else with his condition who has lived as long as he has. He is now in his 30's and is a public speaker. I have always been thoroughly impressed at his sense of humor and love for life that exudes from his small body but huge heart. Spend one minute talking to him and you will be reminded that life is a gift and worth living. If Josh ever reads this, thanks Josh for everything you teach me even from afar.
Life is very short. Shorter than we think. This helps me remember the beauty of today. Today is a gift. May we never take it for granted.
As I talked to my husband about my swirling thoughts and emotions surrounding the couple who lost their one-year old, Ephraim quietly spoke to me these words:
"We can't lose our hope. Life is hard here. This isn't our home. We have to lift our hearts up to the Lord. And now they have a son who's in the shining presence of the Lord, praying for his parents day and night. What a gift."