Friday, October 8, 2010

The Beauty

Life has thrown us a lot of curve balls here lately.  First the challenges of making a choice about school, then the month of October, my grandmother’s recent trip to the emergency room, and yesterday…  Well yesterday was more like a curve ball and a hard ball all at the same time.  See, my husband’s grandfather, Jerry, has learned that he is in for the fight of his life.  Or maybe for his life.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer yesterday.

Thankfully, his grandfather has chosen to “fight like hell”, to beat this disease, and I hope like hell that he wins.  But, that little voice in my head, the one that makes me think too much, and be realistic tries to give into that “what if”.  He hasn’t been to the oncologist yet, so next week, there could be news that none of this family wants to hear.  I don’t want to be the one who has these negative thoughts, I want to be able to tell my husband and have complete faith in the “it’s all going to be OK.”  Yet realistically, I don’t know that, and frankly there could be another curve ball down the road that we aren’t ready for.

I’m also saddened by the fact that this is the second person that John will have watched struggle with lung cancer, which is believed to have been brought own by their own poor choices.  See, John’s uncle and namesake, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002, and he lost that fight a year later.  While Jerry’s family doctor wasn’t able to tell him that it was specifically caused from being a smoker for 50 years, he was able to tell him that it didn’t help.  Two people, whom we both love, who could have prevented these diseases, and yet, they choose a different path. Then it makes me wonder why people are so lax with their health and their bodies.

Trust me, I’m just as guilty, although I don’t smoke, I don’t eat as well as I should, I’m overweight, I don’t exercise regularly (thanks school), and I don’t handle stress well.  All of those things don’t prove that I will live a long and healthy life either.  Yet I always find it ironic that it takes something like a death or a life changing disease for people to realize and understand how precious life is, and how valuable their own life is.

Yet on one hand, my heart aches.  You see, between John and I we know at least 4-5 more people who have made the same choices, who may face their own experience like this.  It saddens me that as the shock of our grandfather’s own fight wore on, that the fact that these other people in our lives, may be forced to walk down the same path.

Today, as I write this post, and try to find the words that will hopefully bring myself, and perhaps John comfort, I’m reminded of a lot of things.  Things that I hope I can remember in the coming months, as our faith, strength, patience, and understanding are tested.

See, no matter what happens, there is beauty in the midst of this whole situation.  There is still plenty to celebrate, instead of grieving for the what-if – that may never happen.  As odd as it sounds, this is a blessing.  It’s a chance for the family to grow and to be reminded of what’s important in their own lives.  And as unfair as life sometimes is, it’s a chance to mend broken hearts and relationships and to say goodbye.  Because frankly none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, it’s not a matter of if, but when.

Even in the darkest of hours, when you ask – God shows up in the most unlikely of places.  In the midst of this seeming tragedy, there is a blessing.  We just have to see the beauty.

~Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

~ Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.  ~Confucius

~ Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  ~Leo Buscaglia

~ I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.  ~Mother Teresa

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