In this life there are many things to prepare for, but the most important is for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I will take you with me, should you want to come along, on my personal journey to the door which will lead to eternity, through which every soul must pass. Where the angel of death waits to ask the all important question, "Are you prepared for the Kingdom?"

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Location: Anacortes, Washington, United States

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived surgery along with chemo/radiation treatments. Recently, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and although I am again on chemotherapy, in all probability I have perhaps one more year to live. During these last months I would like to share what I have learned about the most important thing we'll ever do in this life and that is, prepare for the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Wait

One of the most interesting things about knowing that your time here is short is “the wait.” Although I’ve been told I have approximately a year, that was now four months ago, so we’re down to about eight months now if all goes as the doctors expect it will, sometimes it’s still hard for me to comprehend. I feel as though I’m in this place of waiting, almost like waiting to go on a trip somewhere. But I’m not sure of the exact time or place of departure. That may sound a little odd because I’m speaking about death, but really it’s kind of like going on a trip. I hope it’s more like a permanent vacation!

I find myself talking with people, especially here at the monastery, as though I’ll be leaving soon. I wonder sometimes what they’re thinking when I talk this way.

Most people don’t really want to discuss the subject of death. But I’ve been fortunate in that most everyone I talk to seems to be encouraged by the conversation. When you have the same faith and the same hope in the promises of Christ, it’s much easier to communicate about these things.

I was just talking with a woman who is on a retreat here about how I like to know a little in advance about things so that I can make plans and have time to prepare. Then it suddenly occurred to me that the Lord had given me just that! He let me know a little ahead of time about my departure from this life. He set things up so that I could handle them in a way that I’m most comfortable. He didn’t spring this on me at the last minute; He gave me time to prepare.

And I know it’s not always like that. Just last week I was sitting in a restaurant having lunch when I overheard a conversation at the table next to me. It seems a friend of the woman at the table had just gone into the hospital and was told that she had cancer and was going to die. When she asked the doctor how long it would be, he said, “two weeks”!

What a shock that must have been, and yet this happens all the time. I can’t imagine having only two weeks to prepare for death. It takes at least that long just to get over the shock. I pray that this person is in a good place spiritually and will meet death without fear.

Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of preparation, especially in the emotional area. This is a great event in our lives and all of us will experience it. I am certainly not without my moments of sadness. When I think of leaving those I love I can’t help but get emotional. That is the human condition. But the Lord’s promise to those that believe in Him is life in the heavenly kingdom. I hope to share this life with those that I will leave behind.

My wish, as was the wish of St. Therese the Little Flower, is to live my eternity helping those here on earth to find the path that leads to the Kingdom of God, especially those that I love so dearly. And as I wait here for my hour to come I hope I can offer some words of comfort and assurance to those who have chosen to follow the One, Jesus Christ who is The Way, The Truth, and the Life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have done that, and very well.



12:19 PM  

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