I've gotten tons of cards, emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls from the many who are supporting us through this journey. I love getting them, and being reminded that we are not alone in this! However, there are some things that people say that just really do not help. For example: "Well, you knew this [Isaac's death] was a possibility when you started a relationship with him". As if that really make this easier?
Yes, I knew, before I even became friends with Isaac, that he had cancer and it was serious. I knew after every single scan that came back with a new spot of cancer, that this day could be coming. I knew when I said "in sickness and in health" in my wedding vows, that we would probably have more sickness than we would have health. I knew all of these things...but does that mean losing my husband is any easier? I was telling someone this week about him, and they said how hard it must be, and another person said "Oh well she knew this was a possibility". Really? Obviously they didn't mean to minimize the situation the way they did, but really?
I was thinking about it while watching the Olympics. We talk and talk about those who go into the Olympics as "medal contenders". But, there are the people who go into the Olympics with no hope of winning a medal. They go in, compete, do their best, and leave - knowing from the beginning that they aren't the best and aren't going to win a medal. Do you think, though, that they don't at least hope? I bet every single competitor has imagined their perfect scenario. They think that maybe, just maybe, they will have the performance of a lifetime and the "medal contenders" mess up, and the stars will align and they'll get to stand on the podium with that shiny medal around their neck. They know it's not likely, but I bet they hope.
That's how Isaac and I entered our marriage. We knew that his cancer was rare and didn't have a great prognosis. But we hoped - we hoped that maybe the next treatment would slow things down enough until a better treatment came along...and that treatment would shrink things enough until maybe one day, we'd get our gold medal. We'd find the treatment that worked. We knew it wasn't likely, but we hoped. We went in, gave it our best, and here we are. We didn't get the medal we hoped for - but boy, did we try...and I think it was the performance of the lifetime!
"As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8)