When this book began, it was meant to be an exclamation of joy at the miracles that happen in life when we have faith. I wished to share the glad tidings of "spirit over matter," which I had witnessed firsthand. That was when my eighteen-year-old daughter, Naomi, seemed to be winning her long-shot battle against Ewing's sarcoma, a rare cancer that had been diagnosed in its late stages, already having metastasized into her lungs from her hip. At the time, we believed prayer and faith would provide us the extra power needed to beat Naomi's poor odds and claim an astounding victory. But our confidence was dealt a devastating blow, for it was discovered that although Naomi's cancer had been knocked down, it still had strength, and to our terrible dismay, it came back. Eventually it took her life, and at the same time completely tested my faith and beliefs, leaving a different picture than I had envisioned as the subject of this book.
When the tide turned against Naomi and it became clear that the triumph we had prayed for might not occur, a grand picture of the human soul remained, portraying even more vividly spirit's victory over matter. For the pain and loss Naomi was experiencing did not destroy her love of life; rather, they enhanced it. Even during gruesome chemotherapy treatments, she wrote in her diary: "Life is so beautiful, I cherish it and want to be able to see every part of it."
So profound was her depth of feeling for life, that just two days before her death she said to a friend, "I love my body, it has been so good to me." Only by Naomi's connectedness to eternal God could her soul soar above her painful last moments, enabling her to look tenderly at her stricken body and with some of her last breaths say, "I love you."
The further I went in writing this book, the more I realized that God had heard our every prayer and had watched over us each moment of our struggle, as is evident in the remarkable occurences that appear in these chapters.The description of events follow the orientation of my own soul, yet is open to any numbver of interpretations.In addition to these experiences, you will read about my struggle to to make sense of the mystery of life while learning how hardships help define us. Finally, a mystical dialogue about faith ensues, drawing from the fertile fields of dreams, the writings of holy texts, and my perceptions of the spiritual aspect of Naomi in her struggle.
It is a privilege to share intimately Naomi's experiences, as well as her writings, that they may serve as inspiration to others.
Each chapter begins with a quotation from Naomi.