Word of Hope: Enough

I have been reading my dad’s Words of Hope messages lately. I was surprised to find one in April of 2021 where my dad wrote, “My promise for 2021 is just to live in the reality that enough is good enough.” 

It amazes me he wrote this four months before he died. He was doing well with the new experimental medication at the time. Perhaps God was preparing him to understand that 2021 would be the year he went home, the year Dad decided his journey with cancer was finished. When August 2021 came around, it was clear he had had enough.  

Enough is a hard concept to wrap my mind around. One of the people we met on dad’s cancer journey was a beautiful woman ravaged by a rare and painful cancer. Her dedicated husband spent hundreds of thousands trying to help her find a cure.  

After another very brutal round of experimental medication she was barely hanging on. I met her during an event, and we chatted together about our mutual love for Disneyland. I told her I love Disneyland, but I always struggle with the last day feeling sad as I think to myself, “This is the last ride, the last walk down Main Street, the last taste of my favorite candy.” 

I asked her, “I wonder if I will always want one more?” 

She paused in a way I will never forget and looked at me in a very solemn way. She said she had been wrestling with this question after her latest round of cancer. Her longing for more, just one more taste of ice cream, one more Christmas, one more summer.  

We hugged and left the event. I learned she passed away just a few days after our encounter.  

There is something profound about the restraint of enough. I don’t think I navigated this with Dad as well as I would have liked in retrospect. I wasn’t ready for him to say, “enough.” I thought he would rally like he often did. I also wish I could have recognized how much pain he was in. After the suffering left his face, it was obvious he had been carrying so much more than I imagined.  

Dad had had enough and though I wanted, and still want, so much more time with him, by God’s grace I could encourage him it was good and right for him to let go. We had many wonderful experiences. We no longer needed “one more.” One more Christmas, one more letter, one more hug, one more word of encouragement. Instead, our family could help him go home. 

We could echo his hope for 2021 in saying “My promise for 2021 is just to live in the reality that enough is good enough.”

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” I Timothy 6:6