Monday, December 12, 2011

life, or something like it

I woke up this morning, once more truly surprised that one week had elapsed so quickly and it was Monday morning again... time for some musings. Last week I was plotting and planning our annual Xmas cookie bakeoff with my friend Pam, and probably would have blogged about that today in juicy, minute details. But my heart isn't in it. Sure, I will snap out of it by next week, in time for our holiday tradition, because life goes on and has a funny habit of dragging you along with it, but, for now, I am pondering bigger issues. Namely, life and death. 

If you're a little finicky about mortality talk, you may want to X this page now and come back next week, for a more cheerful edition.

Last week, a friend of ours died. He caught a cold, which turned into pneumonia, which got complicated, and two weeks later, he was dead. Just like that! No protracted illness, no other health issues, no warning. I still don't know how to feel about it. Yes, I am devastated by the loss, but at the same time, that is sorta how I would want to die: your time is up and poof, you are gone. No long-drawn-out goodbyes, no illnesses plaguing your last years, no fighting a losing battle with an incurable disease. He will be missed, terribly.

The last time he was at our house, he played pool with my husband. He picked a really inconvenient time to visit, we were in the middle of packing and getting ready to go on our vacation (he wasn't really known for his good sense of timing). But that was the last time we saw him alive. Would we do things differently if we had known that at the time? Hell yes! But that's just it, isn't it? We walk around feeling all secure in the knowledge that tomorrow is there for us to have, and enjoy, and bicker about little things...

* * * * * * *

Last night, right about the time when my sister was coming home from a concert, an early Xmas gift from her teenage daughters, another teenager (a friend of another friend's son) was coming home from a party. He was driving too fast. His car flipped when he took a sharp turn at that dangerous speed, and he didn't survive the accident. He just died. Poof. Just like that. 17 years old, senior in high school, all that bright future ahead of him. My heart goes out to his parents, especially his mother. Just the thought of anything happening to my little one physically hurts my chest. I couldn't even begin to imagine their grief.

* * * * * * *

So, on this rainy Monday morning, my thoughts are not exactly what you'd call optimistic. But that's a good thing. As tragic and horribly sad as these two unrelated deaths were, this is what we need (what I need) from time to time to realize how precious and precarious life is. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but it may very well be necessary, in the big scheme of things. So we can put our petty differences aside, forgive the mini-offenses, and rise above unfulfilled but trivial expectations.

But until I can believe my own words and actually start applying the meager positive that I'm totally going out on a limb to juice out of these horrid events, my mood will continue to match the sky outside.

Eventually, the rain will stop. It always does.

And time will fly again as it always does.

If you're still reading this far, I apologize for ruining your mood. And to make amends, I will end this post on a happier note... I give you little miss Em's interpretation of the changing of seasons.

Pretty appropriate picture to go with the cycle of life argument inherent in any morbid discussion, don't you think?


At 12/12/11, 4:17 PM , Blogger alienbody said...

You didn't ruin my mood, since it is already reflective of the loss of my mother-in-law in Aug. and a dear friend from breast cancer in Sept. And I agree - when it is my time to go, the quick instant way is preferred (for me) - because I've already been a witness to so many prolonged illnesses and it is just heartbreaking.

At 12/12/11, 9:34 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Futile. It's all futile.
Makes me wonder how benevolent God really is.
All this heartache...


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