Downsizing isn't a task for the faint of heart or the feeble of mind and body. Without a sign on our lawn, and in short order, our house was sold. Then comes the second-guessing and, yes, the grieving. Having put our love and energy into the building, furnishing, landscaping, and gardening, we realize this isn't just a house, it's our home. But in two months, it will belong to someone else.
Our house is full of books we enjoy, music, photo albums, antiques, china, crystal, memorabilia, file
Another matter on my mind these days is the fact that my sister, sixteen months my senior, was recently diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. Since Joan has been a single parent of one daughter, I joined them for Joan's oncology appointment. Being a support, along with my two other sisters, for our busy niece, Billie, has been my duty and privilege. Billie and Soraya live close to Joan's residence and spend much quality time with her.
|Joan, Granddaughter Soraya, and Daughter Billie-Jo|
The doctor explained that Joan has had this cancer for some time. Her main symptom has been a persistent and worsening cough. Miraculously, she has no pain at this time and it has not spread to her brain. I mentioned to the doctor that Joan has many prayer warriors backing her. He acknowledged that could be a plus.
After the appointment, I prayed for Joan for a couple days before I phoned her. As I broached the subject of cancer, Joan confidently repeated what she'd said the day of her diagnosis, "I've had a good life, and I'm ready to go when my time comes."
"So you're saying, 'Sufficient unto the day is the worry thereof?'" I asked, somewhat quoting from the KJV in the words we memorized as young people.
"Where is that?" she asked, the references not coming as quickly for either of us now. The "Do-Not- Worry" portion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6: 25-34) is amazing advice to live by. I've pored over these words of Christ many times in the past weeks.
My sister knows that worrying will not add an hour to her life. The doctor told Joan not to worry. Joan's daughter, Billie, responded, "She won't." Joan will forget to worry and, if her illness comes to mind, she will leave it to God.
I had phoned to comfort Joan. Instead, she had comforted me and given me a refreshing view on downsizing and all of our earthly concerns. In that phone call, she shared a verse that comforts her, "Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you." Joan also mentioned the gospel song, "This World Is Not My Home." I can picture Joan seated at the piano or organ with a bunch of family or young people standing around her, some playing guitars and all of us belting out this song and other gospel favourites. Here's the song sung by Jim Reeves.
After my phone call with Joan, still my mentor, I read the rest of this verse, Psalm 143:8, which says, "My prayers go up to you; show me the way I should go." Joan, as my older sister, is still teaching me. I am trusting God for his continued care of my sister. I have faith that he will not let her suffer more than she can bear. I am also praying that God will show Hank and me and the rest of the family the way we should go in downsizing, illness, or whatever the corners of our lives may hold.