Following my last post about our friends Elisa & Nathan Bond, I received an unusually high number of “hits” on my blog. People left comments in the form of prayers and reporters asked how they could contact the couple. Unwittingly, I found myself drawn into the growing circle of compassion that has surrounded them since their double diagnoses of cancer several weeks ago.
Then I watched their appearance on the Today Show this morning. Their positivity under incredibly difficult circumstances was inspiring. The first time I watched it, I cried; the second time, I wondered if I would have the same fortitude and grace in the face of life-threatening illness.
What struck me most was the expression by both Elisa and Nathan of their desire to live in the moment and appreciate each day with their 18-month old daughter, Sadie. In Elisa’s words, “If you operate on the love, you get to enjoy every minute of every day.”
Browsing the related videos on the Today Show website, I came across a segment about Lisa Bender, a young woman who is pregnant — and undergoing treatment for Stage 2 breast cancer. In the video she said, “I don’t have any control over how long I live, but I do have control over how I live.”
I can only imagine that the Bonds and the Benders must feel as though the universe has painted a giant bullseye on their backs. Yet they’re both focused on healing and hope, and sound determined to fully appreciate every day that is given to them.
Over the past few years, I’ve realized more and more every day how precious my family is to me. Naturally with that realization comes the fear of losing it all. At the moment, I’m not aware of any target the universe has painted on my back — but of course one never knows what the next day will bring.
To paraphrase Lisa Bender, I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I do have control over how I live my life every day. With thoughts of the Bonds and the Benders fresh in my mind, I’m setting a goal to live with a little less fear and worry, and a little more appreciation and joy in every day.