Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hannah's Bucket List

Remember the movie "The Bucket List"? It was made in 2007, and Brad and I went to see it on a very rare date back when it was in theaters. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play a couple of mismatched strangers, who are diagnosed with terminal cancer and end up sharing a room in the hospital. Together, they come up with a list of things they want to do before they die, and escape from the cancer ward to fulfill their mission. I wanted to see this movie because I found the concept intriguing. Of course, when we went to see it, we had no earthly idea that our oldest daughter would be diagnosed with a terminal illness just about a year later.

The other day, I caught the end of "The Bucket List" on TV, and it got me to thinking. If Hannah had made a bucket list, what would have been on it? We never discussed anything like that with her, because we really never discussed the possibility that she might die from her cancer. Not that she didn't know...she was sitting right there when the doctor told the four of us that she had less than a 5% chance of survival...but after that day, we really never talked about it. After all, we knew that God could still heal her, if He chose to do so.

We did meet with the Make-A-Wish people, and she was approved to have a wish fulfilled. So we spent some time discussing what her wish would be...and she was torn between a Caribbean beach vacation, or an RV trip to Yellowstone. We had taken a family vacation to Yellowstone the summer before she got sick, and the girls had absolutely loved it there. And she and Bethany had always thought traveling in an RV would be the funnest thing ever. But...she was adamant that she did not want to do either of these things until she was done with her treatments. She did not want to go to the beach without hair, and she did not want to travel across the country feeling sick. So, we told the Make-A-Wish people that we wanted to wait. She never completed her treatments, so we never contacted the Make-A-Wish folks again.

But as I thought about what Hannah might have put on a "bucket list", I couldn't come up with a thing. She was not the adventuresome sort, so skydiving would definitely have been out of the question. She had no burning desire to see the Egyptian pyramids or climb Mount Everest. She was never one to seek attention, so I don't think she would have wanted to be on stage doing anything. Money was not important to this day, there is still a couple hundred dollars of hers sitting in a little woven container that her aunt and uncle sent her from I don't think she would have sought riches.

After all my thinking, I could only come up with two things that Hannah might have included on her "bucket list", and those would have been to spend as much time as possible with her family, and to bring God glory through her storm. And I get a great deal of satisfaction and comfort from knowing that both of those items could be crossed off the list as fulfilled. One of her favorite things to do was spend time with her extended family...grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And pretty much from the moment of her initial diagnosis up until the very end, she was surrounded by those she loved. And as for bringing God glory, we still see the evidence of that pretty much on a daily basis. Just watch the video from my preceding post, which captures some of the ripples which are still being felt from her storm.

Thank you, Lord, for a fulfilled "bucket list"!

1 comment:

Karen Powell said...

Amen - I think the bucket list can be overrated, because it assumes that joy and meaning are to be found in external exotic experiences. Many people have a completed bucket list full of places they have seen and things they have done, and yet they have missed true meaning and beauty. They have never explored the vistas that Hannah has and will forevermore. She has indeed filled her bucket to overflowing, in ways that will never disappoint.