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This Moment
Photo: Ints Vikmanis
Anita was a young, vibrant, active mother of a 10-month-old and a two-year-old when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. I did not know her well, but her husband and mine had been friends and coworkers for several years. It seemed impossible that she had a terminal illness; she was so full of life. The prognosis though, was extremely bleak.

When we visited Anita and her family a few months later, I wondered how we would find her. Fearing that she might be weak and sick, we were thankful to see that in spite of the advanced stage of the disease and ongoing chemotherapy treatments, she was in good spirits and seemed just as healthy as ever.

Over the next two-and-a-half years we received periodic updates about her condition. She continued to be in good health with few symptoms, but the medical reports were sometimes hopeful, many times discouraging. I know she went through severe emotional struggles knowing she might not always be there for her two small daughters, but always her faith and trust in a loving Father shone through.

Celebrate Life

Almost two years after being diagnosed, Anita was still fighting valiantly. She ran in a 5K marathon, wearing a back brace to protect a vertebra that had been weakened by the spreading cancer. In an article that ran in the local paper, Anita spoke of enjoying her life to the fullest, continuing to do the things that she loved for as long as possible, making the most of every opportunity to be great mom and celebrate life in every way possible, of her focus on the blessings that she had, instead of on what she might lose. She was determined to make the most of every moment.

Anita died a few weeks ago. My heart aches for her family, but I praise God for the legacy that she has left behind, one of courage and faith, a legacy that lives on in the many lives that she touched. I’ve thought a lot about her life and her determination to live every moment of it to the fullest, however long that might be. I am reminded that God alone knows the number of our days.

Life gives us no guarantees about tomorrow, but today, this moment is a gift! It is the only space of time that we truly own. I need to be reminded of that sometimes. Whatever is happening in my life, it is my choice how I will fill this moment that is mine. This is my moment to love and laugh and dream, to cherish time with family and friends, to pursue the things that I love, to focus on all that is good and blessed in my life, to learn to love and trust my loving Father. 

Thank you, God, for the gift of this moment!

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By Leslie Olin. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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