NOTE: This is a letter that Jane wrote to her family just after Christmas of 2007. To my knowledge, it was never sent to them. I believe that [it] will bless them (and you) immensely.
My dearest family,
First, I’d like to say what a great time I had visiting you all a few weeks ago. It was probably one of the best visits I’ve had there. Thanks to all who came out for dinner, thanks for the special gifts, for Jeff taking me to Powell’s candy store and seeing the Christmas lights around Willow Glen.
Thanks especially to Sue and George for buying my airline ticket! It was so good seeing all the great-nieces and nephews too, they are all growing up! I missed those who could not make it, but we did good getting 30 of us to squeeze in the restaurant! Though it was hard leaving, I left San Jose feeling really proud of and grateful for my family.
It’s good to see the progress in those who have struggled with drugs and alcohol. I know too well how hard it is to stay clean and sober, and my hats are off to you who are working on conquering this.
I am grateful that Scotty came home from Iraq safe and sound, that you all seem to have good paying jobs and healthy kids. I am also happy to see Jeff committed to leading people in worship and helping them on their spiritual journeys. There truly is no higher calling.
People often wonder “why am I here?” Well, if you want to know, it’s rather simple: to honor your Creator in all you do, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Is this easy? Not always. And it is different and personal for everyone. But the journey is worth is, because these are the only rewards that are eternal.
You all are raising beautiful and gifted children. Take time to help them learn what their life passions are and do whatever you can to help them achieve their goals. The phone, the computer, the TV . . . these can wait. Your kids will be grown before you know it and these times can never be recaptured.
Also, Grandpa is not getting any younger! Please take time to visit him when you can and help out. I know it would also help Aunt Sue a lot. Time goes by really fast, you guys. Enjoy it now. There is no guarantee of the future. We only have today. Things can come into your life and change it in an instant. Perspective and priorities can change in the blink of an eye.
I am headed into my 2nd year of battling cancer. The hope is that after my next two treatments (last one is Jan. 23), the PET scan will show a remission of the cancer and I can be a candidate for the IPHC surgery I opted not to do last May. Statistically, this surgery doubles the life expectancy in a third of the patients. Of course, I do not leave God out of these equations! I listen to ‘statistics’ with a grain of salt, as much as I can. But, as they say, drastic times call for drastic measures.
This is not an easy journey, especially when you have kids still dependent on you. My concern is often more for them than myself. Yet we have so many friends and family who have stepped up to help us in ways that we never anticipated. They have lifted a tremendous burden from us. I know they are truly ‘the hands of God’ for us right now. We are being well cared for!
Overall, I have peace in my heart and spirit. I want to stay around as long as I possibly can. I don’t feel finished here. I will fight as long as I can handle it. But I also need to bend to whatever the will of God is for me. He has a much broader picture than I! All in all, I know I am in good hands, whatever the outcome.
I also want you to know that I have no problem whatsoever talking about this, so if you want to talk or have questions, just call me. You can also check my blog at jaeastonslife.blogspot.com.
I love you all!! I truly hope that 2008 is a good one for each one of us. I’m sure it will bring challenges, but let’s learn from them and move forward! May the Lord’s peace shine upon you!