Don't panic, it's not my death I'm talking about.
You may or may not know that my current get-me-through-with-some-kind-of-income job is as a non-medical caregiver. The latest client I've been assigned to is a wonderfully creative and kind-hearted 80-something year old woman who's been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. She went to the Doctor's office feeling pretty healthy, but left with the knowledge of aggressive form of cancer taking hold of her body. She's going to die. She knows she's going to die. She lives everyday knowing she will die.
From my first visit last Thursday when I asked her if there was anything I could do around the house, she looked at me with a peaceful, yet telling smile and said, "No, I think we'll let all that wait until later. Let's just spend some time getting to know each other." I knew it was a diplomatic way of saying, "None of that really matters anymore, you know? All that matters now is you and me. Not the laundry. Not the floors. Nothing but the time we have left to be friends."
Because everyone is her friend. She has a family who is always visiting and checking on her. A son and daughter who adore her and want nothing more than to protect her from the diseased cells filling up her esophagus.
Today she was telling me about her family, her children and her life. She talked about all the wonderful memories she has and commented that, "All life is is making memories. It's all memories." Then she turned from her audience in the air, leaned toward me, looked me straight in the eye and said, "You give that little girl of yours lots of memories, okay?"
Well, after a morning filled with complete emotional breakdown and sobbing prayers to God that he would give me a job and help us get more income, and of course a regular babysitter to watch Bella while we make money, the only thing I could do as tears began to well up in my eyes was to say, "Yes ma'am". I will.
And forget about the bills I can't pay. Forget about the time wasted worrying or being emotionally distant or unavailable. Forget about the trivial and remind myself everyday of the important. To love. To show kindness. To forgive. To pray. To laugh. To sing. To dance. To enjoy.
To make memories.
Because in the end, that's all I will have.