A family of three grown children, a devoted Mother and Father married fifty-three years, in comes aggressive cancer, only the inevitable is certain. I make a visit to the man that prayed with me when my family was battling three different kinds of cancer-Mother, Father, and sister. He is a survivor of cancer once before. He has no hope this time. His eyes tell it all. His children, grandchildren, and wife all so appreciative of the visit. I didn’t know anyone but their father/grandfather. He owns and operates one of the best Greek hamburger, hot dog, meat and three in town. No one enters without a genuine welcome and no one leaves without a warm blessing. He needs blessing now.
Dear Lord, we are all so helpless against cancer and other terminal diseases. Yes, these days we have medicines, therapies, treatments, tests, surgeries, all manner of methods to combat such maladies. Once the family hears a terminal diagnosis, they become lost, confused, adrift in the mass of information and medical jargon that becomes a part of their whole family’s minute by minute existence. All sense of time, purpose, priorities are blurred; the only real focus is the illness and the loved one. How to do, what to do, what not to do, how much, too much, emotions poured out, emotions withheld, adrift in this maelstrom it is a wonder any family members survive; they may survive, but they’re never the same.
No longer can I walk away from those dealing with disease, dying, death; I walked that path for years; I can hold a hand, say a prayer, listen to an old story, for not only the patient, but their grieving loved ones. Lord, I pray I am learning compassionate ways to love. Guide me; show me; teach me; pray for me, please. I think I have much to offer those who are grieving and facing loss. Help me to listen, listen, listen.
Thank You, Father, for the many lessons I learned during my own grieving process. You sent so many angels to bless and care for our family. You provided all that was needed and so much more. Lasting relationships have blossomed; caregivers are still caring and giving love and support to me even though Daddy’s been gone six years and Mother and sister Anne a year now.
May I pass along this love and support. May I be an instrument of Your Peace. Amen
Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Matthew 5:4 God’s Word Translation
Blessed are those who mourn.
They will be comforted.
Psalm 34:18 International Children’s Bible
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He saves those whose spirits have been crushed.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Living Bible
What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
We acquire the strength we have overcome. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go. ~Author Unknown
We have learned so many lessons,
Since our heads were bowed in grief,
That have kept our boat from crashing
On life’s ragged, rocky reef.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “To One I Love” (1940s)
As long as I can I will look at this world for both of us. As long as I can I will laugh with the birds, I will sing with the flowers, I will pray to the stars, for both of us. ~Sascha, as posted on motivateus.com
floating without being either moored or steered
without purpose, guidance, or support; lost and confused