I recently discovered the books written by Kara Tippetts, a metster like me, who passed away in March of 2015. Like many of us, she began blogging while writing one of her other books (there are three) and her last book, “And it was Beautiful”, is a compilation of her blog posts while going through treatment for stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She was a wife, a mother, and she worked through her feelings on dying young, on leaving her children motherless and her husband a widower in her posts.
Kara takes the mundane, the routine, the detritus of parenting and life activities and finds the grace, finds the beautiful and celebrates time with her family. As a mother who has gone before me in this struggle to integrate life and faith and living while dying, her book feels like she was talking directly to me. Since I know that’s not logically possible, this is perhaps the genius in her writing, that her thoughts and feelings resonate across time and distance. Kara is, after all, simply recording the cries of her heart and soul.
She also called the machines that we regularly see for MRIs, PET scans, CT scans, etc., “scary snorts.” I love this so much that I am going to start using this terminology going forward. This will be my homage to her.
Knowing the outcome of Kara’s treatment and that her words are being received posthumously gives a certain weight and poignance to her efforts. Maybe that’s part of the resonance of her books. She was here, she made her mark, and left behind a husband and children and a community that learned from her life. I count myself as part of her community now, who grieves with those who lost her and who looks to her example. She wasn’t perfect, but she was courageous enough to leave her words, the words written from her heart, to guide the rest of us.
I count myself lucky to have stumbled upon her writing.