I Choose to Live!

What was so inspiring to others about Jaime was her optimism in the face of horrible circumstances.  She and I often would talk about life after cancer.  She was going to write a book, travel and encourage those who had cancer or loved ones with cancer.  We even discussed moving to the west coast, just to have a fresh perspective on life.  Of course, that was not meant to be.  The morning after Jaime died, I remember opening my eyes and forcing myself to get into the shower.  I stood there and cried for what felt like hours.  Through my sobbing I said, “I don’t know if I can do today.”  Then, it was as if I heard her voice, standing right there next to me saying, “James, you have to.”  And so I did.  As the days have passed, it has become easier to get up and prepare myself for the day.  I have shared with close friends and family that it is a choice to live – to move forward from this moment and live.  I previously shared that the pain of my loss is sometimes unavoidable and even debilitating, but I still must go on.  Sure, I could just sit each day in the dark, watching the hours tick away, wishing that none of this actually happened, forcing Felicity into my world of depression, and playing the scenes over and over for self-punishment.  But I have chosen to live instead.  I have chosen not to ignore the cancer was real, that pain existed, and that there was a moment when my wife took her last breath.  I could pretend that didn’t happen.  But I would die in denial and I have chosen to live.  I could also say that God isn’t real because He chose not to provide earthly healing for Jaime, and that He failed to make everything better in the time and the way that I had demanded of Him.  I could reject who I knew He was prior to cancer, because now I have proof that He is a fraud.  But instead I choose to live in light of His eternal truth, rather than what I wish to be true.  God didn’t cure Jaime’s cancer – on Earth!  But He did heal her of cancer.  And God didn’t work everything out the way I had planned or would have done, but He did work all things together for my good – better than what I had asked.  I wouldn’t wish Jaime back for a second.  Yes, you heard me right!  She is experiencing complete perfection, dancing in the presence of the One whom she trusted.  Why in the world, would I selfishly want her back to experience the pains of life?  It would be for me and not for her.  She is completely satisfied and whole.  I chose to live, and we put up a Christmas tree and played Christmas music.  I choose to live and we play music and sing and dance in the house.  We laugh, we play, and we miss Jaime.  I know there is real hurt out there.  Trust me, there is real hurt “in here.”  We must mourn as long as it takes (a lifetime if necessary), but we must choose to sing, laugh, smile, dance, and live again.    

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