Today is a hard day that ought not to be.
While today is my birthday, and that is lovely, it is also the memorial service for a lovely young lady in my life. The Rachel to whom THE FIREFIGHTER’S MATCH is dedicated, an extraordinary woman in her early twenties who has waged more medical wars than most of us will face in a lifetime, will be laid to rest today. While I am filled with sorrow that Rachel did not survive to see the release of the book which honors her, she did live to hold an advance copy and read some of it. I have a precious photograph of her with her nose in the book in her ICU hospital bed.
God chose to heal Rachel by calling her home where pain and illness can no longer hold her hostage. For someone who makes her life in “happy endings,” that is a hard ending to bear. But those of you who know me know our family is no stranger to medical warfare, and I have learned to trust that God is always in control. Rachel is still a victor in my eyes, even though my heart breaks for those who now must carry on without her.
I chose to move my birthday to another day this year. After all, I’m hoping I’ll have several more to spare. Hug someone you love today and tell them how much they mean to you. Life is too short not to love while you can.
As for Rachel, it would be a crime to call her life short. She filled it with everything she could despite limitations that would hobble the strongest of us. I keep thinking of the poignant line from John Green’s tragically beautiful novel THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”