101: A Final Word

101: A Final Word

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness

A Final Word

Editor’s note: Angela Sayers died on July 15, 2011 as this book was being completed. She had already edited the story “My Epiphany” that appears first in this book and she was thrilled that it was going to be published.

Angie lived half a year longer than the doctors predicted and was active and involved right up to the end. She left a final letter that her parents found after she died. It was an extraordinary gift for her family, friends, and fans.

We were lucky to have Angie on our writing team and we are honored to publish this final letter from her. Angie embodied the spirit of “happiness” right to the end, always looking at the bright side, being grateful, and thinking positively.

Dear Friends and Family,

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve written this letter in my head and across my heart. I both want and feel like I should bestow some great wisdom upon you, and tell you all kinds of great and amazing things. I want to comfort you too, and tell you that everything will be alright. And it will be; you’re not there yet.

Even though I would like to wipe away every one of your tears, come back and hug you one last time, I can’t. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving you. I won’t begrudge you your tears. Not now. After all, I would cry and hurt and shed tears for you too, if the situation were reversed. No, I understand all too well how time and life plays tricks on us in the moments of our deepest sorrows. So, I want you to cry and hurt and yell and scream if you need to.

But I don’t want you to cry forever. I want you to turn around when you’re ready and seize life with all you’ve got. I want you to remember, if anything, for my sake, that life goes on and you’re a precious part of it. I take comfort in the fact that even though I’m gone, each of you is not, and that I will always continue to live in your memories and in your hearts, because I will never have truly left you.

I’m there when you breathe in a sweet drop of spring air. I am the splash of a raindrop across your window. Whenever you think of me and are reminded of the way I lived — I will be there with you. Hold me and your memories of me close to your heart. But never forget to live, laugh, and move on. Mourn me gently and deeply but then dry your eyes, take a deep breath, and live. Live, cherish, and love.

In my mind’s eye I envision myself up in Heaven as this is being read. Perhaps, it is only in my imagination but I am dangling my legs, yes legs, off a silver-lined cloud looking down upon you. I’m sorry for your tears, sorry that I left you. But as I sit there, encompassed in white, I remember that every cloud has a silver lining and mine does too.

This image of me is so very clear. It is a healthy me. That’s the silver lining. The version of me sitting upon that cloud not only has two legs, but is skinny, blond, and rosy-cheeked — the picture of health.

I am healthy in this new body, no longer chained to a body that has been abused beyond recognition and belief. The irony is that the Angie upon a cloud is the answer to every prayer that has been spoken in my name over the past five years. We prayed for healing over and over again and I am healed! God has granted me health, on his terms, in His time, and using His method. He may not have answered our prayers in the way we expected, or perhaps wanted. But I still cannot deny the fact that now, the moment you are reading this, I am healthy. I am okay.

You might be wondering how I can be so optimistic all of the time. People do ask me that a lot. I’m not optimistic all of the time. I have my dark days. But I am also, you see, exceedingly fortunate in all other things in life. I have a wonderful family, amazing friends, and a faith in a God that is bigger than the cancer in me. Optimism and perspective are nearly the same thing.

Sometimes life just needs a new perspective and to be optimistic you must teach yourself to see the good in every situation. I choose to envision myself as being fairly healthy at the moment. But when I think of it, I could pull out a host of complaints, of what hurts, my fears about what is growing where, and a million other incessant complaints that sometimes worm their way into my thoughts.

I think believing in the best is the only way that I could bear this journey. It is the only way I could ever stand to leave. The only way that I can deal with the challenges of these living moments is to believe with all of my heart that the dying moments will bring me the peace and happiness that I’ve always yearned for. It comforts me to know that eventually I will no longer be stuck in this body of mine. I hope, with all of my heart that this comforts you too. My heart and my soul are now free and that is the miracle we’ve been wanting all along.

Love Always,

Angie

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