Two post in one day, I know.. .it’s a lot. Especially from the sporadic blogger who goes months with nothing and then, BAM, two in one day.
Tonight is Camp Out here at Quisqueya and being the Student Activities Director, I am sort of in charge/obligated to be here all night. My Student Council has done so much work, an amazing job planning, its going to be a really fun night and I am looking forward to it (except for the pressure of the whole being in charge/responsible-for-everything-that-could-go-wrong-thing). I really wanted to blog about camp out, after camp out, but I was taking a minute and found myself in my lazy chair in my apartment reading this book someone borrowed me. This book that had some hype among our teens, this book that I am either reading at such a perfect time or it was a totally terrible decision to pick it up at all.
I’m reading “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green, which is a quick read and I have to say I am enjoying it. I have heard great reviews. Its about girl with cancer, terminal cancer, who meets boy in cancer remission.
Today is one of those days that crept up on me, one of those days that all the sudden out of no where is here. Every year on March 20th I write some post about Todd. On this day, the anniversary of day he lost his battle with cancer. This day for the last few years has sucked.
But today didn’t suck when I woke up. I am sort of jazzed for the kids and I think its going to be a great Camp Out. Its sort of perfect actually, they have a bon fire planned and so many memories I have of Todd are sitting around a bon fire. I’m finding this year on this 5th anniversary I am not so much sad, I’m more just flooded with memories. Some really good ones and some well Todd ones. As I’m sitting in my chair reading this book about cancer and terminal illness the words resonate with me.
“The thing about dead people,” he said, and the stopped himself. “The thing is you sound like a bastard if you don’t romanticize them, but the truth is…complicated, I guess. Like, you are familiar with the trope of the stoic and determined cancer victim who heroically fights her cancer with inhuman strength and never complains or stops smiling even at the very end, etcetera?”
Please don’t hear me say that Todd was not heroic, he fought a hard battle and lost and it sucked. But he complained, as he should have, cancer sort of gives you that right. I remember the time I saw him cry because it hurt and the time I was there when he was doing his daily injection of Interferon treatment into his own leg. He was tough and he fought. And he lost. As I remember him and try to honor his memory, I feel a need to remember him as he was. Tough and kind, sort of a grump-a little bit mean even, sly and a big giant baby at times (pre and post cancer), loving and strong. He had this power to make me love and forgive him with just a smile, that smirk I can still see when I close my eyes.
I can still see your face, there are certain smells that stop me in my tracks. You are so missed and so loved by so many. It might be cliche, but I know you’re in heaven smiling down, shining on us all. Today I just want to say Hi. To tell you, I still think about you. This picture is a moment frozen in time. The rest of us don’t look quite the same, we have all traveled down different paths, paths we never could have foreseen since it was taken. But we have all taken you with us. We keep you in our hearts.
How fitting was the verse in my devotional today:
“Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” -2 Corinthians 6:10
For those of you who know me well know that today is the two year anniversary of the passing of one of the most special people in my life. Todd and I grew up together at the lake with a group of people that are more than friends and more than family. I replay the day and week he passed away over and over in my head sometimes, wishing I could change it, somehow go back. I see him in so many things in my everyday life, something will happen that reminds me of him or I hear his voice in the morning hours during sleep and awake.
Today as I was working at a children’s home with a team I saw Todd in the faces of the children; children who are orphans-both true orphans and orphans of poverty. Todd loved kids and I think of him often when I am working in the children’s homes here in Haiti. He had so much life ahead of him, but for whatever reason that I cannot understand, not do I think I ever will-his life was cut short.
I can’t think of a better way to have spent today than with the children watching them play on the swing set, chase each other around and wrestled like any other kid in the world. It is a beautiful world out there, and the people in it hold equal beauty-especially the children. I feel so blessed by every moment God has given me. The loss of Todd has taught be the value of each of these moment. I know that although I may be hurting today, I cannot spend too many moments filled with tears- Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. So today I enjoyed the group, I looked for the beauty and life in each team member. I enjoyed the children and thought of the life ahead of them, how amazing they will each be. Although we may not know our purpose until this life is over, we must have faith in God and his plan; we must walk boldly down our path committing to each day as it was our last.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.” –Proverbs 16:3