I was talking with Ann in the cancer clinic the other day.  She told me she has been under treatment for ten years.  She is pretty fragile right now.  Her body has taken a beating but Ann is hoping there are a few more years left for her on this earth.  She said, “There must be a reason why I am still alive. There must be something left for me to do.”

Her comment stuck in my mind as she went on to talk about how her friend’s cat had died and her friend had decided she was going to go to the humane society and buy a new cat.  As her friend told Ann about her decision to get a new cat she went out into the kitchen to get something.  While she was out of the room Ann turned to her friend’s thirteen year old daughter and said to her, “You should pay for the cat as a mother’s day present for your mom.”  The teenager looked at Ann as if she could care less about doing something for her mother but later as they were on the way to look for a cat she turned to Ann and she said, “That’s a good idea.”

A few days later Ann’s friend said to her, “Do you know what my daughter did?  She gave me money for the cat I bought as a gift for mother’s day.  Isn’t that the most incredible thing?  I was so touched.”  Ann smiled and agreed that even though her daughter was thirteen and giving off all kinds of adolescent vibes she had done a good thing.

I smiled as I heard this story.  Ann is gaining courage as she sees that her life is not infinite.  She is speaking her mind.  She is risking offering advice.  She helped a young lady see that she did love her mother and could show her mother that love.  And best of all maybe Ann has found out her reason for still being here.  She has something to offer.  She has some wisdom to pass on.  She can do some good for others.  Maybe Ann’s courage can be contagious and rub off on us.  Maybe we can look around the circles we move in and see a child or a friend that needs a word of direction if we can find the courage to say something.

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