Last week, a very special young lady died. She had been battling cancer for about a year and she finally won. Oh, I know few people see it that way. They think the cancer beat her because she died. They are wrong. Certainly, the cancer beat her body. It couldn’t fight off the ravages of cancer. It is now lying in the ground returning to the dust from which it came. But Kelsey Harris, 16-year-old daughter of Simon and Teresa Harris, has beaten cancer. She is now cancer free. She is with God from whom she came. She is where cancer can never touch her again. As much as it may want, it can never get at her again. Yes, the cancer beat her flesh, but it didn’t beat her or her God.
I had met Kelsey when she was 13 or 14. She was a nice young lady, but, to be honest, I didn’t really see her as anything more than the daughter of an acquaintance. However, not long after I had participated in a series of lessons taught at her home congregation, I learned she had been diagnosed with cancer. Over the following year, though I actually had almost no direct interaction with Kelsey or her family, I followed the story of Kelsey’s battle. With each new update, I felt closer to the family and to Kelsey. With each description of how she and her family were facing the battle, I was more touched.
I could go on and on about what this has meant for me. However, I want to share with you one thing that has impacted me greatly. Even while being ravaged by cancer, Kelsey did not stop growing. In fact, at the beginning of 2009, she wrote a list of her resolutions. She didn’t say, “I want to survive cancer.” She didn’t say, “I want to lose weight.” She didn’t simply say, “I want to be better.” She provided what I think is one of the greatest expressions of what we should all want every day. I want to give special thanks to Kelsey’s parents for giving me permission to share this with you.
Over the next few months, in an Extra Springboard for You on Wednesdays, I want to share how each statement of these resolutions impacts me and can help you. Today, I just want to share the whole poem with you. This wasn’t intended to be a poem. In fact, Kelsey’s dad told me they were surprised the first time they heard someone call it a poem. It certainly appears as a poem. Yet, whether it classifies as poetry or not, it is one of the most profound things I’ve read…ever.
As she wrote it, we might call it “In 2009 I want to…” For me and for you, I want to change it to “Today, I want to…”
Today, I want to…
Write something worth reading
Read something worth sharing
Say something worth repeating
Give something worth getting
Choose something worth keeping
Sacrifice something worth giving up
Go somewhere worth seeing
Eat something worth tasting
Hug someone worth holding
Buy something worth treasuring
Cry tears worth shedding
Do something worth watching
Risk something worth protecting
Listen to something worth hearing
Teach something worth learning
Be someone worth Knowing
I just want to say thanks to Kelsey for providing such profound inspiration.
(Come back next Wednesday to learn what I get from “Write something worth reading.”)
P.S. Check out Simon Harris’s guest post about “Eating Something Worth Tasting.”