thanks for listening to my heart

by racheliliadis

A tribute to Jim Moye. Happy Birthday.

As I peaked into my parent’s room, I watched as my mom and dad kneeled against their bed with tears streaming down their face, crying — Lord, we need a miracle. Please heal him.

It was my 18th birthday. While most girls celebrate their passage into womanhood, I stood by, helplessly watching a monster ruthlessly take my precious uncle from my family.

The monster had arrived at 11:49 p.m., several months earlier. I was on the phone with a friend from school when I heard my call waiting beeping. It was my grandfather, Poppy. Why would he be calling me so late? Something wasn’t right.

As I switched over to Poppy, my stomach started to turn.
“Rachel, I have some bad news. Uncle Jim has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. It’s most likely malignant.”

My heart stopped.

No. No, no. Not my Uncle Jim. Not my sole uncle who had promised to take me to Ghana, who had a loving wife and three young boys. Surely not the same man who only a month earlier discovered that he was going to be a dad for the fourth time.

Reality set it. The mentor, husband, dad, son and brother who had dedicated his entire life to serving Jesus and loving others was dying. He was only 45 years old.

Shortly afterwards I discovered he had the most feared of tumors: the glioblastoma, an aggressive tumor that grows rapidly, suffocating the brain.

A monster.

From the moment the tumor abruptly announced its presence, I watched it drain the life out of my beloved role model.

No longer able to walk, talk or eat, it took everything.

Or so I thought.

Surgery after surgery, as hard as it fought to rob Jim of his faith and joy, the monster never succeeded. Even at death’s doorsteps, my uncle was still smiling. He never complained.

Not once.

After Jim’s last brain surgery, despite having a prognosis of having no chance of survival, joy radiated from his face. Looking into the nurses eyes as she adjusted her stethoscope, he quietly spoke seven words that sent a shock throughout the entire hospital room.

“Thank you for listening to my heart.”

Really? He could be minutes away from dying, and he still took the time to thank the nurse for listening to his heart.

It hit me. This world is not about me. It’s about loving others.

Five months later, my family didn’t get the miracle we prayed for. With a smile, Jim passed peacefully away.
Until that moment, I had never encountered death. The raw, painful kind of death that punches you in the gut and laughs in your face.

But I get it now. Sometimes, God uses painful circumstances to reveal just how good He truly is.

Although this world is a little bit darker without Jim’s light, my 18-year-old heart began to beat for God’s creation like never before.

If my uncle, who had lost everything, could take the time to thank someone for listening to his heart, surely, I can be grateful for the many blessings in my life.

Realizing that life is a precious gift, I refuse to wait to live until it is time to die. This is my heart’s cry.

Thanks for listening.