As I write this, the news of Andy Williams’ passing has just reached the news. We live near Branson, Missouri, where he spent many of the last days of his life. I grew up listening to Moon River because of my parents’ great love of music. I immediately hear my father singing as I think of him. It brings back some of my fondest memories of my father.
In recent years, some of the conversation turned from Andy’s vast career to his health. He shared that he had bladder cancer less than a year ago. “I do have cancer of the bladder,” he said on stage, according to the Branson Tri-Lakes News. “But that is no longer a death sentence. People with cancer are getting through this thing.”
I clung to this statement earlier this year as we entered a new phase with my mother’s bladder cancer. I wanted the reassurance that everything would be fine, I wanted to hear only the best statistics. I wanted to hear that she would not suffer, that she would survive this. Isn’t that what most of us want, if we were being honest? The fear swelled back up in my throat when I heard the news. I have a choice: enjoy the day and the fond memories, or dwell on what could be. Some days the decision is easier to make than others.
“The important things are children, honesty, integrity and faith. ” – Andy Williams
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” – Matt. 6:33-34, The Message