Five years ago today, I said goodbye to Mom. I was by her side. Michael was by mine. After five and half months of braving pancreatic cancer, she was whole. She was perfected. She was healed.
The last 12 days of her life were spent in a hospital room with a sunset view of the Methodist steeple downtown. Teetering on the brink of life and death, she taught me much about what it means to die knowing Christ. Though outwardly she was wasting away, her spirit, her spunk, and her kindness for others still peeked through. From soft “good mornings” to the nurses, to honest conversations about being ready to go, Mom communicated as best she could, her presence still keenly felt despite her turning inward. She made her wishes known.
Several days before Mom died, she ushered me to come sit beside her on the bed, telling me she had one last request of me. Knowing I had spent the past five months putting her terminal story onto paper, she made me promise to turn these reflections into a book. She believed that the pain, struggles, joys, and hope she’d experienced could help other families facing similar circumstances. I replied,
“I don’t know how I will ever get it done… but, I promise.”
In the past five years, I have carried that promise with me. Slowly, the pages of my journal have begun to take shape, not only into a book, but also into a nonprofit organization, and, on a very personal note, into a calling.
Today, on her five year anniversary, that long-awaited promise, her story in print, is finally coming to fruition.
For all of us that knew and loved Mom, this book is a sweet reflection of who she was and what she loved most in life. And, more than anything, it reminds us of the strength, hope, and joy she found in her final months of life. Her courage in the face of death can encourage us to live our life well no matter what we face today.
If you know someone who is facing a terminal illness, either for themselves or beside someone they love, would you share Our Terminal with them? It would be an honor to extend hope to them during this last chapter of life.
To purchase a copy of The Terminal, you can visit our online shop at:
Thank you for all the ways you have supported me these past five years, for believing in our mission at Our Terminal, and for the ways you help us spread the hope of Jesus to those facing a terminal diagnosis. My world was changed by Mom’s courage in the face of suffering, her hope in what was to come, and in her life well-lived until the very end.
And I believe her legacy will impact all who read her story.
*All proceeds of the book will go directly back to developing more resources for families facing terminal illness.