There was a full moon on Thursday, November 6th and I could not sleep to save my life. I confess, I briefly, somewhat unconsciously glanced at Facebook. At the top of my newsfeed was a post from my friend "Mary" (named changed to protect actual patient). I found it odd that she would be posting at such a late hour of the night too. At first I could only read part of the post until I clicked on “Read More”. The first part read, “As I sit here tonight at the hospital able to breath and no longer vomiting I feel like I am in heaven. So here it goes:” I recall taking in a deep breath as I clicked “Read More”.
You see, "Mary" has already cheated death 3 times in the last couple of months. Doctors have told her that there is no good reason her heart should still be beating, there has been so much damage to her heart. I braced myself, wondering what could have possibly happened to her now, so I read further. She wrote, “I have had extremely poor health over the past several weeks with additional heart damage. Unfortunately, I have found out that my transplant doctor does not think I will make it the six months it will take for the additional testing to even make the heart transplant list. So after speaking with God, my teen daughter, and my sister I have made the decision to forego the heart transplant and go home and have signed up for Hospice”........
"Mary" and I have known each other since I was in the high school youth group for which she was an adult leader at the time. I practically watched her young daughter grow-up. We spent many a Wednesday and Sunday night trying to figure out just what in the world God, Church and life was about. We sang, we laughed, we cried, but most importantly she brought to life for me a little sign that sat above a mirror in the youth house that read, "You Are Loved" ♥ God.
So, this past weekend I went to visit "Mary" during her final day in the hospital, before she would be moving home. We caught up on the last couple years of our lives and then she began to share with me her journey of beginning to prepare for the end of her all too short time on this earth. I asked her how she was feeling and she said, "Pretty good for only having 10% heart function." Wow!!!, I thought, to be in a place where just breathing is a moment by moment miracle, to still have the outlook on life that she does is a call to action for me....and for all of us.
At what percentage is our heart functioning? Surely, mine feels 100% when all is well and bright, heck I could save the world! But what about those times when its at 90% because someone cut me off in traffic, or 80% when the sun hasn't been out for a day or two and I'm getting crabby, or 70% because maybe we are beginning to identify with true suffering, or at 50% when we begin to see the glass half empty rather than half full? When have we given our neighbor 10% when we knew we were called to give them 100%?
As Thanksgiving approaches, may we be aware of God's presence around us and within us so that our hearts are always functioning at 100%. And remember.....You Are Loved! ♥ God