As we raise our children, we pray that they turn out to be responsible and respectable adults. Our goal is that they value life and treasure those that mean the world to them. Yet, in their growth, you pray that they manage to deal with all the “stuff” they encounter with grace and dignity.
This week I was able to watch our daughter struggle with a close friend who needed to undergo some serious surgery, not knowing if cancer was going to be this young person’s next trial in life. Although still on vacation, I saw the pain in her eyes expressed through excessive tears when she shared the situation, and immediately told her that she needed to be with him. After we prayed, I told her before she could go, she needed to be sure there was a place for her to rest, and to confirm that her presence would not interfere with the dynamics of their family.
After finding answers with a warmth of acceptance of her joining them, she struggled knowing that she was leaving me early (after recent surgery myself) and not having our “girl time” of painting nails and such. I told her that we would always have an opportunity for our “girl time” but sometimes the little things needed to be sacrificed in order for the important things in life could be attended to.
When our children reach the age of 18-20, they are still dependent upon us as parents, yet are so desperately in need of friends their own age. It’s not that they don’t “want” us, but rather they need us to allow them to spread their wings so that they can fly on their own.
I saw something in my daughter this week that has shown growth beyond her years. She has mimicked her sisters who have gone before her, believing in standing beside those in need when they need you most. People in today’s culture do not value relationships the way in which I saw my daughter express herself. Yes, I’m sure there is an additional emotional attachment involved, but still, at such a young age and after seeing her grandmother quickly leave this world due to cancer, our younger daughter chose to overcome the painful reminder of what it can do while standing by her friend.
At this moment, the surgery was a success, one test resulting in a cheerful “no cancer” while waiting on two others, followed by a MRI early next week. It took courage and strength to be with a friend with whom she has known for such a short time, overcoming one of her biggest fears in losing another person with whom she loves and cares deeply for, to the possibility of Cancer.
How often do we take time out of our busy schedule to call someone to let them know you are thinking of them? Do we avoid calling or visiting in fear we might be asked to do something or give up some precious time to go shopping or other frivolous activity? The one gift a person can do for another during a time of need is to make a call, visit, make a meal, spend time in prayer, send a card, etc. A true friend of character is known by the time that they are willing to sacrifice.
I am proud of our daughters, and richly blessed by their character of sacrificial love.