Thursday, March 28, 2024

Has My Life Mattered?

 It seems when people hear they will most likely die from cancer—and soon—they ask themselves one question: Has my life mattered?

I’ve thought a lot about this lately. To make this somewhat tangible, I decided to find five exact moments when “I” felt of value.

For yourself, can you think of five moments when you really felt of value? 

This has not been easy for me! Was it giving birth to my children, owning successful businesses, hitting a million views on my blog, landing the lead in a play, or running a newspaper? While nice, stacked against “value,” each and every “accomplishment” seemed hollow, maybe even rooted in pride. 

“How’s your search for value going?” a friend asked. 

“I just keep thinking of standing before God, trying to brag about my bachelor’s degree or being a physician liaison, and it sounds completely inane.”

“Elisa, don’t downplay your accomplishments.”

But she clearly didn’t understand. 

That night Mike and I made a fancy dinner with the kids. We laughed and joked. We played ping-pong on the kitchen table and tried the new kind of Coca-Cola. It was the most fun I’ve had in months. Then, when the kids went to bed and Mike sat reading a book about Eastern philosophy, I sneaked downstairs. 

It’s rare for me to have enough energy to get extra things done, but I knew I could do something small that night—and it would have a huge impact. 

In my sewing room, there’s a stack of clothes that need patches, buttons, and other adjustments. So, like a little elf, I fixed everything. It didn’t take a terribly long time, and as I sewed, I felt so much love pouring through my tumor-ridden body.

“What are you doing, sweetheart?” Mike whispered. “Oh, my gosh! You fixed everything!”

He picked up a pair of his pants, and I suddenly felt like I had value. I could hardly wait for the kids to see what I’d fixed. 

“You look tired… But you seem so happy,” Mike said.

I grinned. “It sounds cliché, but it just hit me. It’s the small things. When I stand before God, if He asks me why I think my life mattered, I’ll say it did because I tried to make a difference for the people who mean the most to me.”

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