My 30 year-old nephew, Bobby, is dying. He has cancer. Wicked cancer. A tumor is pressing against his lungs and heart and breathing has become extremely difficult. I have had the opportunity to see him these last few days. I’ve hugged him and told him how much I loved him.
There is such sorrow and such grief. It is so difficult to watch a loved one suffer and feel helpless beyond offering comfort and prayer. I really lost it yesterday and found myself crying deep tears from places unknown.
Bobby is my oldest brother Mike’s son. These last few days, sitting and walking through this awful illness with the family, has given me an opportunity to look back and reflect. My mind has wandered to a time so long ago, in a cabin with Mike and his family. Bobby was a little boy, so full of life and spunk and joy—and a seemingly limitless future. If I close my eyes, I can see the smiles and hear the giggles.
What glorious times those were!
Bobby was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease at age 16. And we all cried. But there was a reprieve and remission and we all rejoiced. But twelve years later the cancer came back. And now my sweet and beloved nephew is nearing his final hours of life. He reminded me how temporal things are; powerful words from a man who now knows better than most.
Solomon once wrote that even in laughter the heart may ache—and all joy ends in grief (Proverbs 14:13). There is a heavy reality in those words. What Solomon is getting at is this: Look around your dinner table. If you are blessed there will be laughter and joy. But consider this too: there is one person sitting there who will eventually watch each and every other person die. That isn’t a morbid thought. It’s the human condition.
But through all of it, I know the Lord still reigns and is in control.
If you have a moment, could you please pray for Bobby and his wife Ali (pictured) and my brother Mike?