Guest Blog Post 8: A Lesson in Gratitude and Loss (by Alvina Lopez)

16 Feb

It is another opportunity for me to share a guest post from a fellow blogger, Alvina Lopez. She wrote to me wanting to share something that aligned with my desire to bring hope to those who are facing difficult situations. Yes this is another difficult topic to cover, but I appreciate her insight into loss.

A friend of mine, Ann Wilson, wrote a guest article on change and what happens when it occurs. She very wisely said we need to get to know the Lord while times are good because when times get tough you won’t have the time! We have a choice to fight and rebel what God had done or to accept it and have hope.

I recently experienced a loss of a dear beloved family member. He is a man of God and leaves a wonderful legacy of faith and hope behind for family and friends. We mourn his loss, but rejoice as he has finally met Jesus face-to-face. He is home!

Guest Blog Post 8: A Lesson in Gratitude on Death’s Doorstep (by Alvina Lopez) slightly modified by Chat With Dee Dee Blog.

A very dear friend of mine recently died of cancer.  To the very last second he was the bravest soul I’d ever known, and also had probably the healthiest sense of humor I’ve ever known.  On one of my last visits, he told me a story that I carry with me to this day as a lesson in gratitude, even in the gravest situations.  This was the story, as closely as I can retell it:

The chemo had already taken my hair.  My family took it as a sign that I was giving in, slowly being defeated by the hungry disease, but I thought I looked dashing, and that I bore a striking resemblance to Bruce Willis, even Ben Kingsley at the right angle.  What bothered me about being bald was more that I couldn’t tell where my forehead stopped and my scalp began.  I would slowly slide my finger from my brow to the top of my head, holding it in place when I thought I had found the threshold, and then lean in my bed toward the vanity in the entryway to my room to check whether I had got it or not.  Most times I did not.  My finger would be halfway up my head, or still in the middle of my forehead.  So that’s one thing I took for granted: a hairline.

And then the cancer accelerated like some drug induced getaway driver—doctors call this metastasis.  When I told my mother she complained.

“How can this happen to you? You’re a good person!”

I tried reminding her that God had offered Job to Satan because he was such a good servant. My point was that bad things happen to good people.  She did not take it well.

So the family planned a visit, stormed the hospital, brought fudge and a weird balloon that wasn’t quite a dog or a horse.  They crowded in the room and cried so hard I thought a flock of geese had migrated into my room.  My wife sat on the bed, embarrassed, holding my hand.  Somebody, probably Uncle Matthias, started singing “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee,” and the whole troop joined in.  Halfway through I leaned over to see if I had found the forehead threshold with my finger. 

They’d never been any good at coming to terms with death.  Not that any of us are.  But as they stood there sob-singing hymns, I realized how grateful I was that they were stalwart and stubborn enough to meet death on its doorstep.  Recalcitrant and obnoxious as they could be, my family had metaphorically packed their bags, knowing full well where the train would take them, and had boarded it anyhow — and that is a blessing too profound for words.

Once quiet and calm finally settled over them, I looked at their raw faces, feeling happier than I’d ever felt. 


Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez 

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in God's love, inspirational


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