Wednesday, September 12, 2012

7 weeks

A man and his wife came in to find out the results of his MRI.  They already knew it was going to be bad news, otherwise wouldn't the doctor just tell them over the phone?  They sat there side by side, a nice couple in their early 50's, trying to smile politely, but not saying a word.  He was still wearing his work ID around his neck.  It was so faded you could hardly see his picture on it anymore.  Up until that point, they had just been going about their regular day, like they had for years.  His heart was racing, hers probably was too, but it wasn't her vitals I was getting.  The news that was about to change their lives:  he only had approximately 7 weeks to live.  Metastatic pancreatic cancer.

This encounter broke my heart.
And really made me think.
What would I do differently if I knew that I only had 7 weeks to live?

Oh my, I don't think I could even count the ways.  I wouldn't be working at my job, or any job.  I would spend every waking second glued to Jon and Sam.  Soaking it all in.  Trying my best to give them a lifetime of love in only a matter of weeks.  I would surround myself with the family and friends I love.  We would laugh and cry and stay up talking until the sun began to rise.  Then we'd say, "Goodbye, see ya later".  And maybe, if time allowed, I'd travel to some of the places I have only dreamed of visiting.  I would write letters to Sam.  Real life, pen-on-paper letters and seal them up with strict instructions not to open until the date marked on the envelope.  One for his first day of kindergarten. One for the day he graduates high school.  One for his wedding day.  One for the day he becomes a daddy.  All of them overflowing with all the motherly wisdom and love I could muster.  I wouldn't waste one second on anger, envy, or grudges, because I would be all too aware of the fact that my life was too short and time too precious.

While it is not possible to live entirely by this philosophy, I intend to the hold the basic principles close to my heart, cherishing the life I have been given.  Because life is too short, whether I have 7 weeks or 70 years.


  1. It breaks my heart hearing things like that. So sad! I need to remember that philosophy more often.

  2. that was so heartfelt Christine! i'm in tears over here. i like your philosophy. and all the love and prayers i could possibly muster for than man and his wife.

  3. stories like this soo remind me to live out today all those things i would do if something like that were to occur.

    a dear friend of mine passed away two years ago to cancer. her three young daughters and husband had so much sweet time with her towards the end (they lived it to the fullest) and she left them with homemade letters, gifts and artwork that the girls will have for the rest of their lives.

    so heartbreaking but she also remains a constant source of inspiration and love in my life.


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