Thursday, May 23, 2013

WISDOM

If one trusts her, he will possess her,
   his descendants too will inherit her.
She walks with him as with a stranger,
   and at first she puts him to the test.
Fear and dread she brings upon him
   and tries him with her discipline;
With her precepts she puts him to the proof,
   until his heart is full with her.
Then she comes back to bring him happiness
   and reveal her secrets to him.
                                   Sirach 4:16-18

When I read these lines a few days ago, I thought how well they described my husband's life.  Even when he was young, he seemed to be in search of wisdom.  His vast range of reading eventually led him into the Catholic Church (though I believe that my prayers for his conversion played a part, too).  We were all spoiled by his knowledge of both trivia and larger issues, and seldom went to the dictionary or encyclopedia before we asked him a question we wanted answered.  If he didn't know--or didn't know as much as he would like--he often told us to check our research assistant, Dr. Googol, and then went and looked it up himself.
But it was after he was diagnosed with cancer, that he seemed to pursue Wisdom far more than knowledge, and when friends or work associates came to visit, he always found a way to share something he had discovered in his illness, usually in a lighthearted way, but at times with great seriousness.  He frequently reminded us, "We're all terminal," and I found myself thinking of that today when I went for a doctor's appointment.  It was about a year before his diagnosis, that I had been told that it looked as if there were something on my pancreas, and I faced the possibility that my life might be quite short.  It turned out to be nothing, but I had an anxious eight days waiting for the test results.
I remember that I also felt at peace during most of that time, with the realization that I was in God's hands.
I didn't feel that same peace during the seven months my husband suffered and died from his cancer, but it has often seemed to carry me since he died.  I am conscious that many more people than I know are praying for me, and I sometimes experience the feeling of being lifted up over my grief, as if I were looking down on it from a distance.  This week particularly as I am caught up in the final stages of our bathroom remodel and a much-anticipated visit from our youngest daughter and her baby girl planned to coincide with our second daughter's son's First Communion this Saturday (which also would have been our 39th Wedding Anniversary), I shall be very thankful for all that God continues to bless me with, beginning with the gift of life that still runs freshly through me.  

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