You know when you wash something too many times and it gets faded, and you can just make out the pattern that used to be there, but the colour is gone?
This is what cancer did to my mother. The last time I visited her, a week and a half ago, I kept noticing little hints of the woman she’d been – the mother of three boys who had a full medical practice and still found time to volunteer her time at our schools and at church. The professional who decided, after twenty years of practicing medicine in Canada, to begin a second career as a missionary. The caregiver who took such joy in working on the national side of the clinic in Papua New Guinea and learning the languages of the people she worked to treat with the same exacting standards she’d had while practicing first world medicine. The dedicated daughter who came back to Canada to care for her own parents as they aged and passed. I watched for bits and pieces of this person while we looked at old photos, me talking, she nodding every now and then, conversation being too taxing for her to keep up. The pattern was there, but the colours were missing, hidden away by the illness that was killing her.
Now that she’s passed, I live in the knowledge that she is restored, her colours vibrantly decorating the pattern of her life once more as she sits at the feet of our Saviour among those she loved. And while I’ll miss her bright coloured pattern here, I know I will see it again renewed in the light of Christ.