Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Things Seem So Simple

 My oldest daughter asked me out for lunch and I could hardly wait for Sunday to roll around. (Time seems so fleeting after you find out you have cancer.) Anyway, when the day finally came, we sat at the bar of the diner, and I did what I always do—I pulled out a deck of cards and dealt us both a hand. She immediately laughed and looked around. “People don’t normally do stuff like this.”

I just smiled. “I guess that’s true, but it’s my thing.”

So we played a few hands, laughed and joked. It wasn’t until our food came that things got serious. I started thinking about what has really given my life meaning. I looked at my gorgeous daughter—who shaved her head, losing all that beautiful hair to support me.... She has stuck with me and been so kind these last months, growing up much faster than anyone should have to.... Looking at HER, I realized that the greatest thing I could ever do is make sure that the people who matter most know that I love them. “Life has been hard,” I said. “But you’ve been my little best friend through it all—since I was 18. So much of what got me through...was you.” My kids are my heart....

She bit her lip, smiled, and started telling me something that she’s obviously thought about for a while. Over our coffees, hash browns, and eggs, my 19-year-old said how proud she is of the way I’ve lived my life and of how I’ve raised her. 

I cried into my coffee. Her love in that moment erased all of the worry...I KNEW my life has had meaning. It wasn’t because of what I’ve done for strangers, or if I’ve impacted people I barely know. I made a difference for someone who matters the most.

When you’re facing death and things become clear...these are the affirmations you need to hear. At least for my beautiful 19-year-old, she’ll carry good memories of me when my body gives out...maybe those memories of playing cards in restaurants will carry on. But most of all, I hope she’ll remember how much I love her with a resolve that can never be tamed, not even by death.

And if I can mean something to someone as amazing as my daughter...well that’s saying something!

It really is strange what truly matters at the end of it all. 

Things seem...so incredibly...simple.

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