It had only been a few very short days since we were told that an extremely rare and fatal cancer had been found on his appendix after an appendectomy. So rare was this cancer that only one in 100,000 children are diagnosed with it. It’s so fatal, that if it’s not found in time (which it’s usually not), there is nothing that can be done other than treat the symptoms.
Had our son not needed to have his appendix removed, we would have been saying our goodbyes before he reached his 21st birthday. Some claim it to be a coincidence. My husband and I, however, give all thanks and glory to the Lord.
I don’t think I have to tell you just how devastating of a time this was for us, how lost, confused and scared we all felt. Was the cancer gone? Is there more hiding somewhere else? Will it come back, as cancer is known to do?
The sky crammed full of thick clouds, the sun hovered behind them, teasing us with the knowledge that it was there, but simply refusing to shine down on the Nave family. It’s so incredibly hard to find which way is up when the world is so turned around. So near impossible, in fact, that you begin to feel as though up no longer exists.
Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the sun breaks through those clouds. It’s a new day, a new life, and with it comes an all new outlook.
Within weeks, our family went from distressed to unbelievably ecstatic. Our son was cancer-free, and that, my friends, is a glorious thing. I honestly don’t think that there has been a day in our lives when we’ve been as happy as we were the day we got that fantastic news.
My mind is cluttered with stories such as this one, though nowhere near as dramatic — stories that consist of life’s many surprises, its ups and downs. I’ve learned a very important lesson during the 37 years that I have been allowed to live. I’ve learned that you cannot base what will happen tomorrow on today.
Another lesson I have learned, one that my father taught me as a child, but took living life itself to learn, is that you can’t really plan for anything either. You can set a goal, and you can do your best to live out and accomplish it, but you also have to be prepared when it doesn’t work out the way you expected.
From the biggest of things, to the smallest of things, life is filled with unpredictability. Whether it’s leaving the house for work to find that you have a flat tire or hearing the dreadful “C” word, there is no way of planning for the many twists and turns that lay ahead of us.
But that’s what makes life so worth living, the not knowing what lays ahead. It’s the unpredictability of it all that should give us reason to keep pressing on, to look forward to the next day and the day after that.
At 18, I had everything all planned out for myself. At least, I thought I did. Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be living in Georgia, the mother of three beautiful children and the wife of a preacher. I didn’t plan for it, but I wouldn’t change it for the world either.
We live in a time where more and more of our young people are choosing to give up on life all together. We have children who feel as though life is far too hopeless to continue living. We need to work harder at sending them this important message. We need to take the time out of our busy days to let them know that in the blink of an eye, everything can change.
Sure, good can turn bad just as quickly as bad can turn good. But that’s just it. This world we live in is forever changing. Ten years is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. To give up so young is to give up before you even have a chance to actually live.
There isn’t a one of us that doesn’t have at least one story of hope. We can all share an example in our lives when we’ve hit rock bottom, only to find ourselves once again at the top of that mountain! With every year we press forward, we learn that every bit of sadness, fear, joy and peace brings about yet more reason to anticipate what’s ahead.
Let’s all take some time to share our own struggles and triumphs with those who need it most. Whether it’s the young or the old, they need to know that they aren’t alone. They need to know that somewhere in the future, good things await them.
LaFayette resident Tanya Nave is a mostly sane mother of three children, a proud wife and caretaker for many pets. “I could probably give life a little more than I am, but I love the one I have,” she says. You can email her at email@example.com. She also has a Facebook fan page.