VIOLA - When will it ever end? Itstarted with Carmen. Continued with Danny. Dawn. Louise. Jon. Rick. Christine. Cindy. Debbie. Along with countless friends of friends, friends of relatives, and relatives of friends.
Name them. Go ahead, scream or whisper their names. I know you can. It has affected everyone’s lives. No one has been spared.
But apparently that isn’t enough, because itis greedy, and at this moment it is making life challenging for Rodd, Emily, Roger, and Carol, and for everybody who loves them.
No matter what people want to think, it has no rhyme or reason. Whatever you think you’ve figured out about itwill only be disproved when it is discovered in the next person you know, or in yourself.
My own bout with it was easy: a hysterectomy, followed by a pathology report saying the margins were clean. Simple. For numerous others it was anything but easy, yet they are still alive. It didn’t kill them. Some may say it even made them stronger, but that's not always the case.
Itchews people up and spits them out...different. They feel grateful, yet afraid, as they celebrate remission, only to find out it has returned. This is maddening for them and their loved ones, and not a serene, natural way to live—always looking over your shoulder, wondering if it will catch you again.
Recently, after Carol’s third life-threatening surgery on her brain to save her life, she received a somber verdict from her doctor saying she has two years to live. It came on fast, making her struggle even to name the common robin in her yard. It left her with a heart like a soldier who has just come home after the battle: thankful.
When Carol shared with me the amount of time it has granted her after all the medical interference known to man, I asked her, “What have you decided about this time? Will you do anything differently?”
Wearing her stylish brown wig, her blue eyes filled with compassion, Carol said: “I decided to fix any mistakes I might have made.”
Shocked by Carol’s honesty, worried I had made a mistake in asking, I sat up straighter in front of this brave woman. “Have you started? How does that look?”
Carol glanced at her husband, Bill, to whom she has been married for 48 years, with love radiating out of her and said, “I’m nicer to Bill. Right, Bill?”
I felt Bill’s heart would burst.
I wanted to crumble into the couch, because I get it. When you have been married for 48 years there will be good days, bad days, weeks where you aren't seeing eye to eye, or are maybe taking each other for granted. And still, there are 48 glorious, loving, soul-filled years of sharing and caring that even it can’t erase.
Love will crush the fear it creates.
Driving home from Carol’s house, I thought about how unfair it is. Why her? Why him? Why, why, why? But then I realized, it doesn’t care. We do. You do. They do. I do.
So, dear It: Carol and everyone else whose life you have messed with are going to livewhile they are living. I’m convinced there is no winning. Nor losing. Only living.Only life, until death do we part.