It has been a while since I have placed a column in the paper. Since July 21st, I have been dealing with, processing and grieving the unexpected death of my older brother Kent. He was my only sibling and his loss, so very unexpected, has hit very hard. He was diagnosed on July 14th with a massive tumor in his abdomen, which turned out to be B-cell Lymphoma, and not a week, he was gone. So soon…so young…still so unbelievable.
In the midst of the days directly following his initial diagnosis, I attempted to go through my life as normally as I could. Some days I coped better than others. During this time my 10-year old son would take my hand from time to time and pray for Kent and the rest of us dealing with this unbelievable and sudden news. He would bow his head and pray as only a 10-year old child can…sweetly and sincerely. I was touched and overwhelmed each and every time he did this. At some point during that first week when my brother was in the hospital, my son gave me a book that he had just finished reading. It was a book he got at school this past year. He had read it and told me, “Mom, you need to read this. It helped me, and I think it will help you as well.”
The book was called Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes. The whole book can be summed up in a quote from the book, “Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle.” In the book there are many discussions about characters that are fighting their own battles. These, of course, are young kids but none the less the problems they are facing and fighting are huge to them, just as our problems are huge to us.
Battles and struggles…we all have them in one way or the other. The world we live in would like for us to believe that we shouldn’t have battles, that all should be easy and not a struggle, but for many of us just getting out of bed some days may be a battle. The book is all about saying yes to what is before us. It makes me think of Norman Vincent Peale who talked and wrote about the power of positive thinking. That was exactly what this book was all about…saying yes to what is before us and not sitting back and saying no.
In the book the characters talked about the fact that all of us have cracks in our lives, it is part of being human. Cracks though are important because when we acknowledge our cracks, we then allow some room for the light to shine through. I know I have cracks, and I know that in my life when I acknowledge those cracks I do feel better, I do feel relieved, and I do have more light in my life.
What about your cracks? Where might the light be waiting to shine trough in your life?
As the book Operation Yes says, “Everyone is fighting a great battle. It is time for us all to step up. Time to step in.” And it is time for us to say yes to what is before us. The promise is that when we do…the light will shine through and the struggles and battles of our lives will be easier. Are you with me? Let’s step up and say Yes to our battles…let’s say YES to our life!