Some mornings you sit down with your coffee and your computer, and you plan to blog. But you decide to go and pick a featured image from your pictures first, thinking it will help inspire your writing. And then you spend the next half hour scrolling through pictures of the unthinkable journey, reliving, re-feeling, re-loving and looking closely at yourself with her to see if you might have realized at the time, the moment you were in. Were you aware how very precious this moment was? Did you give yourself entirely to it?
I wish I could say I was fully present in each of those moments. And I know I gave myself completely to some of them. But I was tired, worn thin from midnight trips to the ER, balancing Phoebe’s physical and medical needs with the boys’ needs, and trying to hold it together emotionally. So much just ‘surviving’ in all of that. The beautiful thing, is that Phoebe was doing so much more than just surviving her cancer. A pure and perfect, deep rooted joy emerged from my daughter.
She said thank you to the phlebotomists after a blood draw, she smiled at people at the grocery store and showed them her bracelet or her Band-Aids, she hugged perfect strangers and told them how her Daddy snores, she encouraged the other cancer kids in the play room. She was on a love mission, that girl. Phoebe was always looking for someone to love or encourage or welcome into her world. It was supernatural, this sweet anointing. It looked like Jesus. It still humbles me and instructs me to think of her love.
Phoebe gave herself fully to each moment. The person in front of her was the most important person in the world. Why is this so difficult, this singular focus? I want to zero in on and love people in this way, be demonstrative in my affection, seek people out to encourage. Grief is a force to contend with, and I know there is purpose in the pain, but it sometimes blinds me to the needs of others right in front of me. I want to push back the heavy curtain, blow the dust off my ability to really SEE, and then give myself entirely to each moment.