I was ready to write about my intentions for how I would take control of my new year, but today came with the big fat reminder that life is not totally in my hands.
My cousin Sam passed away this morning. It was the thing my family and I knew was coming. Heck, I’d been praying for it to come to free him of the pain he was experiencing, the pain that would only get worse. Preparing for it and praying for it of course make it no easier to process. It is impossible to understand why cancer and regressive diseases exist in this world and how people can die so young. It may not make sense to everyone, but it makes my faith in God even stronger if only because I want to believe that Sam is living a better life now than any life he would have lived beyond age 19.
Every time I grieve a loved one, I think of this scene from Six Feet Under.
Sam did his best to squeeze some big things out of his last few days. He had the idea for an event to raise money for St. Jude’s childhood brain cancer research a few weeks ago. The SamStrong Search for the Cure event happened last Thursday and the fundraising total topped $200,000 as of a few days ago. I have no doubt that SamStrong will be an ongoing legacy for Sam, and while I’m sure he’d choose a healthy life over brain tumors, I know he was proud to inspire this.
Grief doesn’t seem like the best way to start a new year, but perhaps it will be a guiding star for me as I do everything I possible can to make my days count.