Saturday, March 9, 2013

Reflections on life and death

Life can offer some incredible highs and deep, horrendous lows. (If you're in a relatively good mood, or are already in a depressed mood, you may want to stop reading now.)  

Wednesday, I had wonderful and reflective conversations with two people.  One a former student who is in the prime of her life; has an honest, wonderful, and growing relationship with Christ; and is figuring out things that people at least 10 years older than her aren't always fortunate enough to figure out.
The other conversation was with an awesome colleague.  We started discussing work-related matters, but towards the end, I reminded her that she was one of the first people I connected with in my first semester of grad school.  Grad school is the time of my life that I grew up, became me, found my voice and purposes in life, so I feel quite blessed and fortunate to still be friends with folks I met during those years, esp. since I'm not still close to many people I met during undergrad--other than family who I attended the same school with. (Sorta sad, eh?)
It was an awesome day filled with fun memories, good (and some tough) conversations, and  overall, a rather productive day.  I ended the evening by starting to watch Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States.  An interesting series that I'm excited to finish, but it too is a reflection of life and death.  Overall, a decent day.

Thursday, I was reminded that life is short, fleeting, and  filled with emotional upheavals and sometimes, epic personal battles.  I was also reminded that cancer is really fucked up.

Everyday I'm reminded just how evil cancer is because it took my mother from me, and it has taken many other relatives and afflicts far too many to count.  

Every moment I feel this new being moving inside of me, I relish in that pleasure but wallow in the sorrow that my mother is not physically here to enjoy it with me.

Thursday, I received news about cancer from two people.  And as I thought of them, of course, I began to think of Ma and a good friend who is currently battling it.  All people are/were strong-willed and awesome.  All have influenced my life positively.  All I feel blessed to know.  None deserve(d) to deal with this in any capacity, but at least, with Ma there was a direct causation, but what about when there is none?  How do you adjust and cope with that.

We try to eat and live right, but what does it matter if you eat right, do right, try to be healthy when an illness can still strike without cause, without understanding, without reasoning.

Knowing of illnesses (and possble mortality) of friends and relatives, esp. my mom, makes me want to take life by the horns, say fuck it all, and simply do what I want.  Take my family to live on an island, sell all possessions and move to another country, drop off the grid, just enjoy life.   Life is short and fleeting although it can also be long and filled with awesome memories. We try our best to hang on to the good and trust and believe in God and greater purposes and all of that, and most days, we win.  But some days... some days just beat you all to hell.  Thursday was one of those days for me.  

Most days, we can take a bit of bad news, but when the news starts falling like an avalanche, even the strongest ones break down especially if we're the navel-gazing type and begin to reflect on similar situations.  But news is news and we must be informed and process in our own ways.

In the end, I suppose I simply must be thankful for the time I'm granted with friends and family, celebrate their peace if they pass, remember the good times, make awesome memories, and love them while I can because tomorrow certainly isn't promised to anyone. And even if "tomorrow's another day," there's no promise that it won't attempt to knock you down.

Keep fighting. Keep loving.  Keep praying.

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