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My Flashlights

 

Hunter Hayes, Flashlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1NpYwMU0s8

The last 24 hours of my life have left me completely heartbroken. A horrible disease has found its way to my Papa, and there’s nothing in this world that he ever did to deserve it. No one ever deserves this. It’s unfair, it’s brutal, and it’s deeply, deeply heartbreaking.

I’ve already figured out that when something as horrible as cancer strikes your family it’s extremely hard to not panic about the future, and it’s hard to not be sad, and it’s hard to see the plan in all of it. It’s hard to think positive thoughts and it’s hard to repeatedly explain the situation to people asking from the outside.

In the past 24 hours though, I’ve found that some aspects of this aren’t so hard. It’s not hard to hug everyone you love and let them know that you care, it’s not hard to be a helping hand, and it’s not hard to pray and ask for prayers. It’s not hard to be a flashlight, as Hunter Hayes so beautifully said it, and in the past 24 hours so many of the people who I love have lent me some light when I needed it desperately.


To Maddie, who was there with a hug and a shoulder as soon as I got off the phone yesterday: thank you. Thank you for staying with me all day yesterday, and dropping everything to stay with me today also. I honestly wish I could explain to you how much I needed you there, or how much it meant to me that you were. I love you.

To Justin: thank you for understanding as well as I do how hard this is. Thank you for crying with me, for hugging me in the kitchen, and for being able to crack a joke when we need one. I love you.

To Mom: thank you for reminding me not to fret about the future. Thank you for your hugs, for wiping my tears, for letting me sit on your lap in a hospital chair until your legs fall asleep, for understanding, and for being strong when it’s the hardest option. I love you, I love you, I love you.

To Samuel, Keaton, and Joe: thank you guys for just being there. Thank you for the prayers, for the support, and for being a distraction when I need one. I’m really not sure how many times I can say that I’m beyond lucky you guys ended up in my life. I love you all.

To Brooke, who is currently on a mission trip: thank you for taking some time out of being an amazing person in Nicaragua to be an amazing person here as well. I know that you will always be there to lean on, and that means more than you know. I love you.

To Tony: thank you for reminding me on the daily that God has a plan, and for always being an astonishingly bright light on dark days like this. Your heart is made of pure gold, my friend. I love you. (And thank you for the epic cat shirt).

To Nina, Sydney, Liza, Mariana, Beth, and all of my other long-distance friends that have reached out to me today: thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Knowing that the love and hope that’s being passed around for my Papa runs worldwide is something I will never be able to completely wrap my head around. Thank you for being there for me and my family, even when you’re not. I love you all.

To anyone and everyone else that has lent a hand, a prayer, or a word of support today: thank you. My family and I appreciate all of your love more than you know, and I love you back.


Flashlights are everywhere. They’re in the sunsets, they’re in acts of kindness, and they’re radiant in the people you love. When life is easygoing that beam of light may be dim, but it’s always there. And in times of trouble that incandescent light guides you toward comfort, peace, and love.

In the events of the past 24 hours my flashlights have done everything they can to make sure I find my way home, and I can’t ever thank them enough. They’ve listened to me, they’ve held me while I’ve cried, and they’ve just loved me, even though I probably wasn’t the most lovable today. The tears have not stopped streaming down my face in the hour it’s taken me to write this because this absolutely awful circumstance has shown me what real love is. Real love is being a flashlight for someone else constantly. Always. No matter what.

Papa, I’m going to be a flashlight for you. I promise. I love you.

 

 

 

By laurenstockam

Lauren is graduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.

2 replies on “My Flashlights”

I know it’s tough, but try to stay strong, darling girl. I’ll keep you & your family in my prayers. If you need anything, just send me a message on Tumblr. All the love xx

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