Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Life and Death

I haven't felt like writing. Actually, I should say that I haven't felt like writing posts for my blog. Several events came together to settle a cloud of melancholy and deep thought over my mind. The first was learning that a friend of Jim's had breast cancer. I had only met her once, but she is the type of person that you immediately like - warm, and with a huge heart. The type who will do anything for a friend. She has only been married a couple years, and her son is only 17 months. The unfairness of it raged at me, and made me once again think about how fragile life is.

During the time in which she was undergoing chemo, having surgery, trying to regain her strength after surgery, and being told that she could possibly have bone cancer, (she doesn't!! : )), I had a sore throat. A sore throat that persisted for a month, and that a family doctor and a specialist couldn't diagnose. I was also exhausted. I felt weak, tired, and like I was going through my days in a fog. With each doctor visit and test, though, I kept thinking of her, and of the many like her, going through things much worse. (I have since come to be convinced that the whole thing was allergies, and I'm on medication for that and feeling much better).

During the last two weeks, my parents have been on vacation in Florida. I know that I depend on them, but it became clear just how much while they were away. One day, something happened, and I picked up the phone to tell them about it, before remembering they weren't at home. I sat down with tears in my eyes when the thought came to me that someday I won't be able to pick up the phone and tell them about my day, or ask for their advice.

One day, I forgot to take something to my employer's to do while the youngest took a nap. I grabbed one of the many books on the shelves to read - "Lovely Bones", by Alice Sebold. I don't know why I picked that one, but the timing was incredible.
It is a haunting novel told from the perspective of a young girl, from heaven, who was viciously murdered. Even though at times the story was told so graphically and the loss felt from the family was so honestly described that it was almost unbearable to read, I was spellbound. I was engrossed in the story from the first page. A story about death and life. It seems to be the prevalent theme on my mind this month.

So, what has all this focus on the subject resulted in? A renewed appreciation - for my health, for my life, and for the people in it.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That book is just amazing--it is so tragic and yet at the same time uplifting. It is one of my favorite books of all time.

I'm glad you're feeling better--I think many people are feeling that spring is overdue--it's time for some sunshine therapy.

Jennifer H said...

Jenn's right - that book was amazing. Maybe you were meant to pull that one from the shelf that day.

Maybe you'll feel better when your parents get back?

Hang in there. I know the blahs.

Jonny's Mommy said...

I haven't read that book, but will have to. It is so hard when something like this happens to someone so young. You sound like me -- I can't get it off my mind and I think about it and turn it over and over and over in my mind.

When my parents are out of town it is totally freakish to me and of course I start thinking about what will happen when they are gone gone. I don't like thinking about that.

One time they went away for a couple of weeks and asked me to watch their house -- the cats and such. I'm 45 minutes away and went down one time in two weeks (got someone else to feed the cats) because when I walked in that house and they weren't there I had a near mental breakdown. Yeah. Good times. Good times.

Burgh Baby said...

That's one of my all-time favorite books. Love it.

I hope you're able to get out in today's most awesomist weather and have a little fun with Dylan!

The Girls' Mommy said...

Chill bumps...do you remember I found out my childhood dog died (at age 17) during my baby shower that you came to? Yup. And then Abs was born two days later. Well, my dog died from a whole in his heart and Abbie was born with a massive congenital heart defect, ie- whole in her heart and then some. My mom was CONVINCED it had to do with that book. She kept saying their souls crossed. (Kinda creeped me out) But great, if disturbing, book.

I'm so sorry about Jim's friend.

Janet said...

It is interesting how things seem to converge. I'll have to read that book. I've heard good things about it for some time now.

JCK said...

I am sorry about Jim's friend with cancer.

The Lovely Bones is an amazing novel. It killed me when I read it years ago, and don't think I could read it again.

I'm glad you think your symptoms were allergies. They ruled out mono, right?