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Jacque rests uncomfortably in the hospital with her daughter sitting vigilant through the night. Surgery went well, says the doctor. Got all the cancer they could see. Waiting for tests that will show if there is more and what course of treatment may be required in weeks to come. No visitors right now.

The older we get the more often we come face-to-face with the inevitable end of life. Its easy to ignore when we are young and vigorous, full of the future. When the future has a time limit looming we look at life much differently. Each day counts more. Every family event holds more poignancy. Some decisions seem more trivial while others become more urgent.

I love Jacque, my friend, my mentor, my encourager, my sister in Christ. She has a devoted family and large circle of influence. Much prayer has been offered for her healing and return to life in the NOW. There are so many of us wanting her to stick around for awhile longer.

Not long ago we shared sweet memories of a brother-in-law at a gathering in his honor. I learned many things I didn’t know about him. He lived a good life, suffered a long time with chronic and worsening pain. We gladly let him go. Just two years earlier we gathered round Ruby, my husband’s mother who had only the month before turned 99 years old. As we all said goodbye to the shell, the well-used temple, left behind by her heaven-bound spirit, relief and joy and sadness and loss, smiles through tears, celebration and song floated among us in the room. She too lived a good life.

Life is short…an old adage with little meaning until life really is short. I am a grandmother now. Life is short. I want to love the living, love the moments and the days, love the people and the experiences we share. It is time to celebrate life for all its worth. I do believe in the after-life; heaven will be my home someday. But right NOW, I choose to make the most of the time remaining. Get Well, Jacque. Let’s celebrate!