With the anniversary of these events fast approaching, I have thought about this a lot. We all have this mystical clock with the countdown timer set the day we were born. We are not allowed to know the time remaining and there are ways or decisions that we can make that will speed it up., still without knowing the reaming time. I know with the loss of my father in law that was in his Mid 50’s it felt too early especially since he appeared healthy. Within 6 months of his diagnosis with cancer, he was taken from this life.. Only a short time later, I was talking to a coworker who has a daughter in law that is in her late 20’s. She was picking something up and heard a “POP” which from my experience was not all that uncommon in a person after having a baby only a year earlier.. I know it takes some work for their body to “go back together” after having a baby.. well after the pop, it hurt and would non stop so she went in to get it checked. Amid the diagnostics there was a scan performed that revealed spots throughout her body. A short time and many test later it was concluded that there were several types of cancer spread throughout her body and most were stage 4 (un-treatable). She was given 6mo to possibly a few years.
It may be that it is close to home that causes me to notice this but, to me it seems like I am hearing more about people around me that are being diagnosed with cancer at all ages and stages of life. With my religion I take comfort that these people are not lost to us but rather a different stage of life. I also take comfort that the supreme being some call GOD, deity, Father, and so on; is really a Father. Not a Father here on earth but a real and literal father that loves us and understand us more that we could imagine.. I know that the reason we are here is for a “Test” as a way to grow and experience things that could only be experienced and learned from in this environment. I laugh a little but the truth is, this “Test” is not like a test you would expect to see in school.. This test is tailored to each individual, the scores are based on everything we experience and how we respond in thoughts and actions. None of us are Perfect in the eyes of others but, based on the eyes of the father, he knows us and he is the one that will give us that score..
Anyway, sorry I am getting off on a tangent, one of the things that we have been comforted in is the thought that our “Father” needs us in the next stage of life and that is the reason so many people are taken from us at an earlier stage in life for no apparent reason to us. Another thing to think about is that, our “Test” is complete and it is just simply time to go to the next stage. Either way it was simply time to move on based on the plan that our Father prepared for us.. I know that we will understand better later but for now that is what we have.
There is one more thing to this that I have experienced. I have yet to see if the same experience is had by my co-worker. Several years leading up to the death of my father in law there were “things”, “Feelings” that indicated something was going to happen. At this stage in the game I cannot recall what all of them were but as a testimony to the things that I believe, this is an example of why I feel so strongly about this.
Back in the spring of 2011 the thought of my wife and I wanting more came to the point that we could no longer ignore it. There was a new feeling that we were supposed to be doing something more/different than we were at that time. I was making OK money at work and I kind of enjoyed what I did. We thought and prayed and that Fall decided to move to Provo. To go back to school for a Mechanical Engineering degree to align my career with what I enjoyed doing. The first semester was hard trying to take as many classes as my schedule would allow with me working full time and having a side business that required a minimum of 1 hour every night. The following semester, I was feeling tired and worn out. So I reduced my classes to ease the pain. Still no rest. Somewhere in this mix my family was one of 5 families quarantine for whooping cough.
On top of all of that (because of the medical expense we had already incurred) I decided to have my arms tested as we thought I may have had carpel tunnel. We ran out of time to do all of the tests but they were leaning toward tendonosis. In the process of all of this testing we had also found out that my health was not so good. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was diagnosed with Phase-2 hypertension. As we, in despair, pondered what we needed to do since what we were doing was not working. We decided that we needed to enjoy what we already had and that I needed to take what I learned and stop going to school. Those trials had to have been what I needed to do so that I could learn something, and we did. We learned we did not need a big house to have space. We learned that good friends are invaluable and we learned that too much is too much.
After all that, we decided to stay where we were and go back to focusing on work and family. There was, however, still a feeling of something looming ahead of us still. We could not figure out what it was. We wanted to have more kids so we “stopped stopping” the process. Nothing happened, but , the feeling was still there.
Come January of 2013, another trial stood ahead. I was laid off from my job of over 7 ½ years. I cannot say I did not see it coming. Business was getting slower and the company had done several layoffs. Really there was only 5 or so people in the company that had been there longer than I had and with the consolidation that was happening, I knew my position would be eliminated.
This is a strange point in what happened. Rather than going and getting a job doing things I know well, we resorted to working with my father-in-law. The pay was minimal and the work was hard. finances required us to move in with my in-laws. All of this felt illogical but right. Less than a year later is when my father-in-law was diagnosed with Cancer.
Was the cancer what we felt coming, I still don’t know. Much has happened even since then. A lot of “I would never”s have happened and it felt right.
We cannot plan what will happen. We cannot determine how much time we have. All we can determine is what we are going to do with the time we have and, since we do not know what time we have, we can only determine what we are going to do NOW. Our lives can end at any moment and without any warning.