In my last post I was asking the question "What will your legacy be?" after you depart this world. I had no idea how that was about to become relevant to my next post. Only God knew how the pieces were about to fit together. Immediately following my post my mother died. We thought she would live forever; she was too ornery to die. My Mother was one of the strongest women I ever knew. I was shocked.
A few weeks after that was written my oldest grandson was in a motorcycle accident that easily could have taken his life. He has never been one to fear danger, or shy away from speed. One of my earliest memories of him was the way he used to love riding his little motorcycle (one of those plastic ones toddlers push around). He would push it to the top of our driveway then fly down hill with the wind in his long blond curls, until he crashed at the bottom. He would laugh, and pull up his overalls for another run. It came as no surprise when he moved away from home and bought one of those fast sleek looking models in a brilliant yellow. I had seen him drive, and it was never below the speed limit...so I really didn't want to know when he launched out on the open highways. All I could do was pray for a band of angels to travel with him and keep him safe. I praise God and thank the angels on duty that night who kept him safe after being hit and left alongside the road; the pictures came across his facebook with tubes and bandages keeping him medicated and out of pain. He had broken his leg, and collar bone, and left other less vital parts of his body bruised and scraped. Scars to share as signs of honor in a world of young men who cherish sharing such treasures as dearly as Olympic Medals. While I sat mortified at the reality that I could have lost him, he went out and bought a fancy cane and strutted his stuff for all the world to admire. That was just a test run, there was more to come.
"He's dead" barely made it out of Amanda's mouth. Amanda was his younger sister, and also my daughter's best friend. She called them her brother and sister.
"Stop! Who's dead?" my daughter tried to clear her head and wake up to what she was hearing.
"Lance!" My daughter knew she had misunderstood. It couldn't be Lance, he was just there days ago. She asked again, "WHO?" but got the same gibberish, something about a motorcycle accident, the driver left the scene of the accident, Lance died instantly.
"NOOOOOO!!!!!!" The nightmare continues now, even months later. My daughter stays in bed and cries in agony for hours. But he isn't coming back.
She is trying to adjust, reading to learn how to grieve, and is setting up a charity in his name to keep his memory alive.
In the midst of the losses, my younger children and I lost our home and all of our possessions. My son chose to move out and was staying with friends. Another close friend was living there also. They shared their thoughts, dreams, regrets, and sorrows; they shared how growing up was so much harder than they thought it would be. Everyone has their own way of adjusting to changes. They both suffered from mood swings brought on from being bi-polar. A few weeks ago she turned 19. He argued with her over something private and now unimportant. She went to her family home, and they too argued with her. She had been drinking, whether to celebrate her birthday or to self-medicate I don't know. She threatened her brother and her mother, and the police were called. She was arrested and taken to jail. In her loneliness she made a drastic choice. When she returned home she slipped the rope over her pretty face and around her neck, tightening it so it wouldn't slip off. With tears running down her face she ended her pain with one final plunge. My son feels the sorrow she left behind, with his own tears flowing like raging water after a flash flood. He never got to say he was sorry.
The news said suicides kill more people every year than automobile accidents. In the next few days following this young girl's death I read of seven more young people who took their own lives, and five parents who decided to take their children with them when they took their last breath. Teenagers that will never get to see their dreams fulfilled; young girls who will never walk down the aisle or give birth to their first born child.
Some died by accident, some took their own lives; many suffered long devastating illnesses, and others died shortly after receiving news they were ill. I am not sure how many had time to think about the legacy they would be leaving behind. I received word that I have cirrhosis of the liver in an advanced state, a cyst on my kidney and kidney disease, a large hernia the size of a watermelon that is draining fluid and blood into my abdominal cavity, severe sleep apnea, and an assortment of other life threatening illnesses that can take my life within the next 4 to 6 months. I have refused to accept this diagnosis and am claiming a complete healing. The Irony here is that I come from a family with a long history of depression, and spent much of my life falling to sleep at night asking God to take me home in my sleep. When I finally discovered the value of life, and wanted to enjoy every minute of it to the fullest is when I received my diagnosis. Just as I realized how fragile it is, and how much it is to be cherished like a fine delicate orchid...no, I refuse to think that way! I want to savor every hour I have left, whether it be a few or thousands and thousands. I want to make memories with my daughter doing the things we enjoy, and finishing my books while I am still excited to write. I want to spend time with my kids and grandkids, sharing my favorite memories of my childhood and theirs. And I want to leave a legacy as a prayer warrior; one people think of first when they need prayer that storms Heaven and gets results! It isn't too late for that... What will you do to prepare your legacy? Are you ready if today is your day?