A Life Remembered

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is to small to be made into a burden.”
– Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

When I was five, I worried about getting lost on the path between my kindergarten classroom and the school cafeteria. When I turned seven, I worried that my chatty reading partner would get me in trouble with our teacher. At nine, I fretted over my too-curly hair, or whether I’d finish my term paper on time. And at thirteen, I worried that my dad’s job might transfer him to Turkey.

Later in life, I found opportunities to worry about whether I was too strict or too lenient as a parent. When I wasn’t preoccupied with the challenges of motherhood, I had plenty of other concerns to keep my head spinning: bills and deadlines and aging parents whose health issues were mounting yearly.

Then I met a woman who had every reason to worry, yet didn’t. Diane had suffered liver damage from a childhood illness and by the time she reached her early teens, she’d became an insulin-dependent diabetic. In spite of careful monitoring and a strict diet, her glucose level would rise and fall with little warning. As a result of those daily shifts, Diane’s vision suffered drastically. She developed migraines. Her energy level plummeted without notice, and afternoon naps soon became a necessity.

One evening as she stepped out of the shower, Diane suffered a seizure that literally threw her to the bathroom floor. Her husband called for an ambulance, but by the time paramedics arrived, my friend had lapsed into unconsciousness.

At the hospital, a team of specialists raced the clock to corner the culprit. After numerous tests, they discovered a “blister” tucked between the folds of her brain. Inoperable, they said. Too risky.

Weeks passed without change. Friends from our ladies’ Bible fellowship prayed, trusting God for her “best,” whatever that might entail. When her doctor assessed that the machines were only keeping her warm and nothing more, Diane’s husband made the tough decision to let her go, and she slipped away within minutes of removing life support.

I remember how different the world felt the next morning. Kids played tag on a nearby playground, oblivious to my loss. Buses hurried by as if nothing had changed. People still griped about politics. Junk mail still crowded my mailbox. TV commercials still coaxed consumers into buying products they didn’t need.

But my good friend was gone.

Certain people impact us for the rest of our lives. Twenty-seven years have passed, yet the thought of that special friendship still makes me smile. Whenever I think of Diane, I remember her bright outlook on life, and her faith that God always knows best; His plan for each of us is higher and broader and deeper than anything we could ever conjure up ourselves.

I remember her shrugging at worry–a waste of time, she believed. Little did she know that her time on earth would be so limited, yet if she had known, I doubt that this young woman with sparkling brown eyes would have changed the way she lived her life.

Diane was in step with God, and in tune with her world.

One New Year’s Day, I asked her if she’d made any resolutions. “Nope. Why rock the boat?” She’d just keep on doing what she’d been doing, she said.

“I just stay out of God’s way and trust Him for whatever.”

©2008, Bonnie Bruno

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