The 3 Hardest Life Lessons I Learned From My Father Having Cancer

They say that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

Well, if God himself came down, sat beside me and said, “Here’s what’s going to happen,” I would have said, “Bullshit.” But it all happened. It’s amazing how strong you become when being strong and powering through is the only choice you have.

I have had a range of experiences that have gone from “This is awesome!” to “Seriously, God; what’s the deal? Why are you doing this?” It’s truly astounding to see how life can bring a high one minute and a low the next. Up until all these tests life has presented me, I naively thought life was pretty predictable. But, I soon found out that I was very wrong about that.

I have come to realize that life is not only fragile, but it is also finite.

No one gives us what we promise, and no one always fulfills our promises. I think this where my personal journey begins. It started out of my own frustration and anger over watching someone I love more than life itself not receive any help because no one took them seriously. This was my breaking point. During this time, I learned a valuable and beautiful lesson — that whatever mess you’re facing can not only turn into a message, but that message can also turn into your purpose.

The next thing life has shown me is that we should live every moment we have to the fullest.

When cancer shows up at your door, as it did to my family in February 2017, you realize what truly matters in this life. Sadly, it also during this time that you learn that some people will never realize that they may not have all the time they think they do to reach out to their loved ones. You can’t control others’ actions or lack thereof, so you need to focus on what you can control and hope that your loved ones don’t end up living with the regret of “should have,” “could have,” and “would have.”

I thought my late grandfather’s death would have been the event to teach me the ultimate lesson about not letting a moment pass without saying “I love you” to someone you love and care for but again, I was wrong. My father coming home one day telling my mom and me that he has cancer was the ultimate moment that made me grip on to my family and the love we share.  

I learned to use that moment to keep us from going under from fear of this new-found reality my family would have to face. I have always believed that the love we receive, both in this life and in the next, is a gift that should never be taken for granted. If you live life under the assumption that someone knows you love them, that you don’t have to say it or show it, then that is not only sad, but it is also selfish. If you’re given the gift of someone to love, then why wouldn’t you tell them you love them?

That’s why I never waste an opportunity to let anyone I know I love them.

I have also learned from my father’s cancer that even if the road life is leading you down confuses you, you will never be lost if you trust in the universe’s guidance. I know for a fact that this is true because I trust now more than I ever have before. It’s truly amazing to experience God’s guidance in your life and all the doors that can lead you through. His guidance in my life, particularly in these last two years, has made me not only better but also braver about taking chances and growing as a person.

In the last three years, I have found my voice and my passion. I have found love, and I cherish my family and friends now more than I ever have before. I guess the point is that Whatever difficult events occur in your life,  no matter what they are, you are never too old for life to school you and to grow from the experience.

Featured Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash.

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