Tonight I alarmed a few friends (and my mother!) when I posted on facebook that I felt like crying. I try not to do that but I was so frustrated, a little angry and - to be honest - alot scared tonight. And yes, it leaked out.
As I was talking to a friend afterwards I admitted that it was several things that hit me all at once. I'd had a bit of an emotionally wearing week. I'm worried about a few issues. Someone was very rude and talked about me and that hurt my feelings and made me angry. I felt a bit depressed. I was home alone feeling lonely and at loose ends. I was PMSing. But there was more.
The thing that really bothered me tonight was that Steve Jobs died of cancer. At age 56. One of the absolute greatest innovators and creative minds of our time died early. With so much left to offer the world. And that brought a rush of emotion to the surface for me. I didn't realize it until after I posted on facebook, but I realized that alot of what I felt was fear and grief. Because I'm in the middle of my own health scare, Steve Jobs death hit very close to home for me.
Next Thursday I'll have surgery. Female stuff. It might be very routine or it might get more complicated. You see, one of the things they are trying to figure out is if I have uterine cancer. Tests show abnormalities, and we've not had a successful biopsy yet. All that will be determined Thursday.
Most days I try not to think about it. 90% of the time I'd tell you I'm not worried. Not looking forward to surgery but not dwelling on the "C" word and possibility. After all, I know many cancer survivors. My mom and dad are both cancer survivors. I have friends who are cancer survivors. I know in my head that cancer is not a death warrant.
And just this morning I read from Hebrews 12:1-2, "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father." After I read this, I prayed to God, asking for strength and endurance to handle with grace and courage whatever lay ahead of me. I felt confident. Strong. Encouraged. Able to handle even the diagnosis of cancer.
Until I got home tonight and saw that Steve Jobs was dead of cancer at 56. Only eleven years older than me. And the thought entered my head and heart and would not leave it -
"What if I only have eleven years left? Or five? Or two?" And I just felt utterly depressed and fearful. I don't want to leave my family, my children, my friends, my husband. I don't want my life to be cut short.
And at the bottom of it all was this nagging fear that I had wasted opportunities. That my life had not counted for as much as I had wished. That I would not leave a legacy. That my life had not mattered. The idea haunted me.
About a year ago I sat in the hospital with a dear family friend. Her days were numbered and she knew it. She was one of the most godly women I've ever known and she touched so many lives through the years. Yet as she lay there, knowing time was short she clutched at my hand and in tears said "I just hope I did all God wanted me to do." It's a hope we all have - we long for our one life to matter deeply.
That's my hope tonight. That my one life will matter in deep ways. That I will not let fear, pain and procrastination win the day but that I'd take chances today, that I'd step out in faith today, that I'd love deeply today, that I'd forgive today, that I'd cherish people today, that I'd give of myself today. That I'd jump into life with both feet - today.
Steve Jobs shared these now famous words about his impending death: