947893_heartswSo exactly what is a legacy? I looked it up, and besides the money left in a will…this is the definition that I am talking about: “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. “ Well, it might as well be Gold, because this is the type of legacy that can carry you through life.

My father was diagnosed with lung cancer about 7.5 years ago. My daughter had just been born, his first grand daughter, and I was in shock. I was scared. I went through a million emotions, finally arriving at acceptance that he would be gone very soon. His odds were 15% chance that he would survive for 18 months.

Then my husband said something that changed my whole outlook…..he said “ I don’t see why your father couldn’t be in that 15%.”

“ You’re RIGHT! “ That was a huge turning point. We helped him in any way we could to proactively treat the cancer. We spent the last 7.5 years treating the cancer, and enjoying the months when he would be without any detectable cancer, until the next scan, when we would again find more cancer, treat that, and then enjoy the 3 grandchildren that had been born. I almost forgot those feelings of inevitability that it would return. Almost.

Then the day came, when the scan came back with too much cancer to treat. It would diminish his quality of life, without giving him a longer life. We had picked the battles, and now we had to prepare.

But through the WHOLE process Dad had remained constantly cheerful, and grateful for time with his grandchildren and family. He was a daily communicant. He was friends with the Pastor. He went on silent retreats, and was at peace.

And when I looked at how peaceful he was, it calmed me. I was not anxious for him. It was my first close experience to death and dying, and I was a little nervous. He knew where he was going, and he knew that he was prepared. His peace kept the rest of us at ease. We were able to enjoy those last few months. Dad had an experience some 20 years prior to this, where God had showed him for a glimpse of all the answers, and then it slipped away. But in that glimpse was peace that everything was under control.

So where did the peace come from? Four little words with a powerful punch that puts everything in perspective. “God’s Plan is Perfect.” There is no room for argument. There is no room for worry. “God’s plan is perfect ,”allows for everything. And it requires COMPLETE trust. Childlike trust. This was the motto that my dad had been living by for at least the last 20 years, and maybe longer.

So when he died, I looked at my ‘take home” message. What had I learned from his life that would help me get through it all? And those were the words. He would utter them to me, whenever I was complaining, or scared. This week when Pope Benedict resigned, I got a bit flustered. Finally I had to calm down by going before the Blessed Sacrament, and discussing with my husband that this too, is part of God’s plan. Just as Jesus dying on the cross was part of God’s plan. And so I pass those on to you now. It’s not as though you haven’t heard them before. I had heard it before as well. But as it has a new meaning for me now. It’s my Father’s legacy to me, maybe the best present a Father could leave his daughter, and my legacy to those who hear me, and hold on to those words for life. You are in good hands, trust in your Father’s hands, because His Plan is Perfect.

Copyright 2013 Marya Jauregui