We discovered it quite suddenly. But it was already too late. Stage 4 Endometrial cancer. Cancer took my beloved wife from me before we had been married for a decade. I was inconsolable for months. After years of being apart, which was mostly my doing, I had found her only to lose her again. I knew she was in a better place and I would see her again but that did little to lessen my grief, at least at first.
Eventually I realized that I still had a precious gift; life and I could cherish the time we had spent together serving God. I could still serve him the only way I knew how. I was an old man and I had a lot of time to reflect on the time I wasted. But I decided not to wallow in regret in my seventh decade and I spent time instead telling younger people around me to choose to spend their lives more wisely chasing after things that really mattered.
I grew content. I had reconciled with my children and had sought forgiveness from their mother. I had a good relationship with Salewa’s children who had accepted me as their second father. My whole family checked on me often. I was sometimes lonely but not as lonely as I was some decades ago. Granted, it was much later in life but I had finally found fulfilment. It was written in the faces of the young men and women that I took into my home and brought up as my own. I felt it as I knelt in the morning to pray and commune with the One who loved me the most.
Whatever else happened with the rest of my life, I knew that Salewa my childhood sweetheart and lover would be proud of me. And that… was enough.