Monday, May 23, 2011

A Long Overdue Update

Hello Everyone,

I have missed talking with you through my blog posts, but I'm back now. A lot has happened since I last wrote and I confess it is a little overwhelming to try to figure out the best way to catch up without overwhelming readers or myself...but after some thought, I have decided that the best way to catch up is to just share with you directly but briefly what has been going on.

The last 18 months have honestly felt like one emotional tsunami after another. My mother-in-law died of leukemia in November of 2009, and then my father-in-law passed away in July of 2010 (a broken heart from missing his wife), and then my father's melanoma cancer took a turn for the worse last fall and he passed away in early February of this year. Weeks after he passed on, one of my very best friends, Mary, died after a short and fierce battle with esophageal cancer.

Each of these loved ones has played a significant and important part of my life, and to see each of them suffer so much and then to pass on in rapid succession has been hard. I have great faith that I will see them again but for now I miss them terribly.

Out of a deep desire to honor their lives, I helped to write the eulogy for three of them, doing my best, to capture the texture of their lives and how precious they were to me and so many others. I delivered the eulogy for my father and dear friend Mary at their funerals. It meant a lot to me to be able to remember them in such a way.

I am not yet one of those people who can say, "I am so very thankful for all of my challenges," but I can say that I am thankful for the tender mercies I have experienced during the tough times and I am thankful for the lessons I have learned during them.

I confess I miss my dad the most, but I am so thankful for the incredibly precious moments I experienced with him during the last days of his life. My father was an attorney who was an advocate for those in need. He helped, on a daily basis, individuals who could not afford an attorney. And he helped many. He was still fighting cases in the courtroom in November but things went quickly downhill from there.

During the last weeks of his life, he was barely able to speak because of the tumor in his brain. Even so, he taught me some extraordinary lessons on gratitude and service during that time. If my Dad could be so grateful for the good in his life in the midst of such suffering and could still somehow seek to serve others, I can ask no less of myself. He has left quite a legacy and so I will go forward in my life, striving to honor his legacy of service, gratitude, hard work, attending church faithfully, among other things. I am truly blessed to call William Anderson Sansing my Dad--past, present and forever.

Okay, so I thought I would keep it short and simple, but that turned out to be too great a challenge. I am just glad to be back in touch with you. Thanks always for your thoughtful notes and feedback. I am most appreciative.

Love and Blessings,