My college roommate died last week. She left behind a thriving marriage and two children still living at home. Cancer hounded Steph for years in different manifestations and proved to be too powerful to fight any longer. We made a pilgrimage back to the state where we had attended college and witnessed the funeral along with at least 600 people who felt the pull to show up and honor Steph. Only one other person was a representative of those college years as far as I know, but I talked to many people last week who wanted to be there, but for various reasons could not attend.
Throughout this painful time I have tried hard not to make it about myself; I wanted to support the family and honor my friend, to help bring closure and complete any gaps in time of her life. As I was sitting in a packed church, unable to see anything up front but with a perfect view of strangers of all ages who had come to say goodbye, I was struck by the impact that this woman had made. She lived 17,828 days, at least 20% of them with a cancer diagnosis or the threat of another scare. And she encouraged those around her with her positivity and strength over and over again. I have many stories of Steph telling me about a new symptom or diagnosis over the years and quickly following up with being so thankful to see her kids for as long as she had. I know many other people would say something similar.
17,828 days. I didn’t want to make this about me, but the way Steph spent her time on this earth has caused me to consider my own. What are you doing with your days? What impact will I have with mine? Over the years my roomie taught me so many things, and I’m thankful to still be learning from her now.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12