Math is a concept often lost on me. Complex equations make me appear exactly like a doltish cartoon character being taken advantage of by Bugs Bunny. I scratch my head, hold my tongue just right, and still the product does not come. Math is hard (or for my British friends, maths are hard.)
One concept which is simple enough for me to grasp is the equality or inequality of two values. Less than, equal to, or greater than. This came into play for me last week as I considered two numbers.
4007 is not equal to 28,773
28,773 is greater than 4007
4007 is less than 28,773
In the United States, the average life expectancy is 28,721 days. Being a consummate rules follower and an incredibly kind person, my mother didn’t want to take more than her fair share and only reached for an extra 52. After a very difficult battle with Alzheimer’s, she went home to heaven last week. She will be missed.
I take great consolation in the thought that a small figure was waiting impatiently behind Jesus. In fact, I can even see her pushing to get around him. As the littlest sister, there was always someone in front, someone bigger, someone to wait your turn for. And I’m sure Jesus appreciates such impatient love that yearns to be expressed.
Mom’s obituary hauntingly stated, “she was preceded in death by her granddaughter.”
Kylie lived a total of 4007 days. Math tells me 4007 is less than 28,773. The larger number is expected. The lower number is tragic. And while I’m sad about losing her, mom lived a wonderful life. She had two children and nine grandchildren who adored her, she served others tirelessly, and she traveled the world with her husband of 56 years. Before Alzheimer’s ravaged her mind, she would agree that 4007 days isn’t enough.
But amongst that diminutive number of days, some were some very good.
The day Kylie arrived was a good day that would have been better if I’d have gotten to the hospital in time for my lovely wife to get an epidural.
Early on there were grand days of discovery – walking, singing, dancing, reading, and a love of learning that fueled her.
Days a cast list came out, snuggly mornings that led to lazy afternoons, dog days, beach days, Disney days, cat days, school field trips, good grades, visits with friends, sister days, daddy dates, sweet days with mommy, hibachi (or as she called it, hispachi), the great Labor Day cat capture, building days, silly days, smiley days, the day she found Jesus…
In fact, the good days by far outweighed the bad. There simply weren’t enough.
There were 321 days of cancer. Maybe it’s because the worst of those days were so bad that by comparison, some of those days feel really good. Or possibly it is because they were the last ones.
And now we’ve been 1664 long days without her.
Why this infatuation with days? Because we are seeking to redeem the number. On Kylie’s final day she told us to cure childhood cancer. It happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we’re trying to raise $4007 through CURE to fight the beast that took her life. Will you take a day or two?
Maybe you could skip Starbucks today and take $4 days. Or skip Friday night’s adventure and take $25. Consider it an opportunity to add days to the life of a child!
Here is a link to Kylie’s page.
Please take a minute to read her story and pick a few days to redeem. Together, we can make sure children get their fair share of days.
6 thoughts on “The Inequality of Two Values”
Hugs to you! Alzheimer’s took my mom almost 9 years ago but “mom” was gone a few years before she actually left this world.
It is a brutal, dehumanizing disease. She was gone for a couple of years and would have been mortified at how she treats people.
yes, every number matters.
I’ll say it again: Kylie was blessed to have had you in her far-too-brief life, Mark.
You’re a good man in every way that matters.