"Don't ever forget to hold close the people you love"
A Malaysia Airline plane went missing a few weeks ago. This morning, on the news, the parents of one of the people on that plane were being interviewed. Their son had recently spent a week with them. The mother was saying what a blessing it was that they had spent that time together. Above are that mother's words.
Here's the thing. We all know on some level that this could be the last time we see a loved one. But we are so filled with magic thinking that we cannot really imagine that life is that fragile.
My brother, Dale, spent a year living with our mother. I was annoyed and some times resentful. My mom was disabled, and yet, she would cook soup for Dale when he got home from work. It didn't sit right with me. We should be taking care of her not the other way around.
Then, the unthinkable did happen. Dale died. He was killed in an accident. Who new? Who could have imagined that this horror would happen? All of a sudden everything changed. And I learned that it had been a gift, not a burden, to help him out. Our mother got to feel useful. She got to know the adult Dale. She was so grateful for having that year with her only son. Who could have known?
Where is all of this coming from? Well, I started with the quote from the mom on the news.
I think about death and dying a lot. I don't think I am morbid. Just real. I have my own magical thinking. Wishful thinking maybe? We all die. We all spending our lives trying to evade death. We cannot win. So, what difference does it make what we do or how we live our lives? I honestly don't know. I think for many people, if not most, religion answers the questions no person can. There are the beliefs that we will go to heaven or hell. Why? Why do we need to think that? I guess it gives a reason for something that is totally unreasonable.
I have had several brushes with death. Birth being the first time. By being born and surviving, I defied death by making that perilous journey. I have given birth 5 times. I have lost 2 babies. Life and death, both coming out of my body. Sharing my life and transforming it.
And now I have this tumor in my head. Apparently, I could have gone through my whole life, however long or short, and never known about the tumor. Or, it could change and be the cause of my death, I know that there is a tendency to make light of it and say I will be okay. And I keep saying I am going to be fine. How can I say that? I don't honestly know that I will be alright. But I feel like I will be. Am I being superstitious? Is this my religion?
Time, as always, will tell.