The RN led Nancy and her parents into the doctor's office. The three of them awaited the doctor and his diagnosis of Lib's condition. For months, Lib had excruciating stomach pain. In the beginning Nancy and her Dad thought it was the flu. Days turned into weeks and weeks camouflaged into months.
Unmistakably, it wasn't the flu, but what was it? They couldn't imagine what was happening to cause such a change. Lib was suffering a loss of appetite; loss of weight and excruciating pain. Although doctors were doing everything possible for her, it seemed to Jim and Nancy the waiting period was linked with eternity.
Dr. Chen entered his office with a pensive look. Lib introduced her husband and daughter to the doctor as he motioned that they have a seat. He examined their expressions, and noted the waves of warmth, which seemed to penetrate from his smile to their hearts. They were sensitive recipients, which was Dr. Chen's clue that this terrible news would saturate their heart's very core
Although this was the one aspect of medicine he loathed, Dr.Chen proceeded with the heart-wrenching details. "Lib, I'm glad you brought Jim and Nancy today. You will need to pull love and strength from each other in the months ahead. You have cancer. It originated in your pancreas, and is now in your liver. I am so sorry to be the bearer of this sad news."
Tears began dripping from Jim's chin. Nancy, trying desperately to hold herself together, asked, "Doctor, are we talking about a time limit?"
Dr. Chen's first loyalty existed between he and his patient, so he questioned, "Lib, do you desire to know the answer?"
"Yes, please," she responded.
With her approval, the doctor replied, "Six months."
Libís expression didnít change. It was as though she already knew. Nancy helped her parents from their chairs as she turned to the doctor to thank him for his caring concern. They left the medical center, stopped by the pharmacy to pick up the medication that Dr. Chen had prescribed for Lib, and returned home.
Lib was tired, so she crawled into bed with the help of her daughter and her husband. Jim walked outside while Nancy sat by the window gazing into space, not really seeing anything. She continued to sit by the window with little desire to move. Nancy's heart and mind wandered as she envisioned her Mother's beautiful smile lasting forever.
She caught glimpses of her Mother dancing as she did long ago, humming tunes, reading novels, and watching the birds. Above all, she'd realized that her Mother would not be by her side forever and ever. She'd never really given it any thought. But now . . . knowing this was becoming a vision that cut through her heart like a sword.
Lib taught Nancy that love is stronger than fear. Her mother taught about action, too. It was through Lib's actions that Nancy learned. She was one to walk the talk. Indeed, Lib is a crystal clear and pure example of what real motherhood is all about. Nancy and her mom had secrets that can only be shared between a mother and daughter. She wanted to talk with her mother forever. Nancy envisioned again her Mother sharing truths about love and fear.
Lib would say, "Some folks think love and hate are opposite. Not me, I think love and fear are opposites. Life is to be savored with love, and then you won't have to sleep with the light on."
The next day Nancy was preparing lunch while her Dad was trying to comprehend what was in the newspaper, when the doorbell rang. It was the folks from Hospice. Lib felt well enough to get up, so they had a supportive and loving conversation. The new friends departed, expressing they would return the next day. They discussed with Lib, Nancy and Jim significant details, offering love, support, and their phone number.
Months passed. Nancy learned one last thing from her mother. Time is precious. On this day when Nancy called her mother, there was no answer. She and her dad rushed to Lib's room as though there was a fire in the house.
Nancy looked into her dad's tearful eyes, "Mother's gone." They fell into each other's arms bursting into gut-wrenching sobs. One said, "How do we go on?" The other replied, "I don't know."
Though life became different, Nancy and her dad learned that time and friends are blessings to use during heart-wrenching moments. Nine months later, Nancy was thinking on these things as she sat by that familiar window she used when returning home from learning of her Mother's cancer diagnosis. She remembered the visions she experienced that day. She remembered her mother's smile.
Suddenly, Nancy felt a tug at her heartstrings. She was feeling something from within. It was love--not fear. Months ago she was envisioning her mother by her side forever and ever. She fantasized that her mom would get better.
Well, her mother did get better. Nancy suddenly emerged feeling overwhelmed with the sense of her Mother's presence. She felt her smile. This fresh feeling was no less than amazing. Nancy felt a melody come alive within her very soul.
Then she knew. Nancy realized that these are gifts that her mom left for her to keep. These are the gifts that do not need legal documents or codicils to prove their worth. These gifts are priceless.
Nancy discovered a fulfilling truth that cleared the clutter from her head. She then replaced fear with love in her heart. She realized that her mother must be humming, dancing and smiling with each new moment. Moreso, Nancy became aware that her mother is fully alive, seemingly only a chat away. Nancy grinned as she pondered, "My mother will be by my side forever and ever. My mother IS by my side."
Nancy had been told all her life that dreams can become true, but it was on this day that she realized visions can become real. She also claimed that her mother's love is more than a vision. It would remain forever present.
Nancy felt new joy as she gazed God's way and smiled through her tears--tears of contentment.