[My apologies in advance. This post has nothing to do with technology, gadgets, or search....I just had to write this stuff down.]
Lunch wasn't supposed to be that hard today.
Today I had my second lunch with Doug Kramp. I was connecting him with another friend of mine, Matt. I thought they would really benefit from meeting each other. Wow, did I underestimate how much I would benefit from them both.
Doug's first wife died of cancer about a decade ago. It was big news because of Doug and Erin's passionate pursuit of life, in the face of death.
They made journals and lists of all of the things they wanted to enjoy together before she died. They made videos of all of the things she wanted to tell their daughter, but wouldn't be able to. Their lives were chronicled by the local media, by national media, by religious media, by Oprah. They were convinced Erin would beat the cancer, despite the odds. She did not. Through the process, he and Erin learned more about living than most of us ever do.
Matt and his wife Mandy met in college. He tried for years to get her attention but it wasn't until later, years after college that things finally came together. After being the "project" of most of his married friends, Matt was tired of the dating scene and re-met Mandy in the craziest of ways (your secret is safe Matt). They hit it off and soon fell in love. The only hitch--and a significant one, was Mandy's terminal disease, Cystic Fibrosis.
Matt, unfazed by this (or should I say, fazed but not forlorn) pursued her with all determination and they married soon after. They have been married now four-plus years.
So, what's all this about?
Today, I was reminded, through both Doug and Matt's stories--Doug's of living through Erin's cancer, and Matt's of living through Mandy's CF, that we must face the reality of death in order to really live.
We must really think about death--not avoid it. We must long to grasp what it means to die and lose it all, so that we may have the passion to live.
A fuzzy view of death equals a dispassionate view of life.
"I learned things about my wife I never knew." As Doug and Erin started making the short list of things they wanted to do together before she died, he learned things about her he had never known. As I listened, I realized the pitiful truth that I know little about the dreams of my wife. Sure, I know she wants to be a better mom and a better wife (she is already great at both), but what are her real dreams? I need to know more.
For Doug and Erin, they had to define their boundaries and push those edges. It was this constant effort to try to be living on the edge of that circle that we usually try to stay well within.
Doug and Matt, thank you for the real world examples you both are to me and those whose lives you intersect. God is using you both in huge ways.
The photo is one of my favorite ones of my youngest daughter on a lake in Colorado. It reminds me of just one of the reasons I have to live on the edge of the circle.