“The best day of your life is one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours-it is an amazing journey-and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day that your life really begins.” ~Bob Moawad

When I lost my mom at the age of 22, although I was absolutely not ready to part ways, her age of 49 seemed ancient.  As I am over the half way mark through 33, I have the realization that if history repeats itself, I have roughly 15 years left on this earth.

I truly believe that God gave me the exact mother that would raise me to be the woman who would be walking her adult life without a mom. There is so much wisdom that she gave me that I was not prepared to grasp at the time, but it plays back through my mind at the most critical points. And I breathe in all that she was put on this earth to teach me.

Towards the end of her life, my mother was on morphine most of the time to help subside the pain caused by the tumors. This made having any kind of coherent talks with her via telephone quite difficult. She requested they take her off of it long enough so that she could write journals to my sister & me. She also wanted to spend this time talking to us on the phone. One of the last things she said to me set the path for how I would walk the remainder of my life.

“Bethany, I don’t want you to get hung up on the breast cancer. I truly believe that when it’s God’s time for me to go, I would have gotten hit by a bus if it wasn’t cancer.”

She had an amazing sense of humor, even while facing death 😉 But the wisdom in that statement has never left me. We get 1 chance at this life.  And we have absolutely no idea the length that it will last.  I truly believe that we are put on this earth to serve a purpose. And I believe with all of my heart that her purpose had been served & God was ready to call her home.  Cancer just happened to be how she went.

My mother absolutely lived & breathed her life for Christ.  She always held onto the things of this world with an open hand.  She lived with a true awareness that this life was very temporary.  But it was always so very clear and known that she viewed my sister & I as the greatest joy that God gave her.

My mother was diagnosed with a rare eye disease early in my life & was supposed to go blind by the time I was 5.  On her death bed, she told me that she never thought she was going to actually get to watch me grow up.  She was praising God that He gave her that gift. She died with her eye sight still in tact.

Although her circumstances never changed, she chose the path of choosing joy & a heart of gratitude no matter what road she was asked to walk while she was here.

I try to look at each day through this lens.

If this was my last day on earth, is this how I would like to be spending it?  Is this worth worrying about?  Is this what I want to dedicate my energy & time to?  Is this serving the purpose that God placed me on this earth to do?

This life is but a breath, my friends.  We cannot control how long we get on this earth.  But we do get to choose how we are going to spend the time we are given & what we want to leave behind.

It took me many years & many messy miles for me to get to the vantage point I am at today.  But I’m so thankful for the mother that God chose to give me for 22 years.

And I am determined to fight hard to grow into the person that God put me on this earth to be.

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