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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Should Heroes Go Out?

When we think of heroes dying the way they should, we think of soldiers dying on the battlefield, firemen rushing into burning buildings, policemen in a gunfight with lawbreakers.

What about gentle heroes?

My mom is a hero to me, and to so many. She is a prayer warrior, a loving caretaker, a gracious hostess, a selfless mother. What is the fitting way to leave this world for someone such as her?

I have no idea.

Despite having no clue as to what would be appropriate, the way she is leaving this world is certainly not how I would have chosen. She has been in constant pain and physical limitations for the past 15 years. Now, in her final days, she is being consumed by cancer.

Monday was a "good day" by her standards. I suspect her best days would be ones you and I would complain about. But her definition of a good day is definitely much more refined and mature than mine. It's humbling.

We spent Monday talking about memories. I love hearing about her life in her own words. We spent part of the day discussing very difficult topics, as well. I'm sure these topics will end up in blog posts at some point as I continue to self-medicate by writing.

I don't know how someone of my mom's stature should go out. It's against my instincts to pray she go sooner rather than later, but that would be ultimately best for her. The longer she hangs in, the likelihood of her having a painful and torturous ending are significant. I don't want that for my mother.

So, I pray the unthinkable. I am in no hurry for my hero to leave me. But, in following her example, I need to lay aside my own agenda and want what is truly best for her.

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