Who am I, Where am I Going, and Where have I been? The story of my life!
|April 10, 2008
Life can so suck. Raise your hand if you have ever uttered any of the following phrases. "That's not fair" "Life sucks" "Why me?"
I have no choice but to raise my hand. After all, life hasn't been overly nice to me sometimes...I'm 35 years old, lost both of my parents, let our house go, have one child who has mega attitude issues, one who has battled recurrent illness without a reason why. Money is tight; we seem to battle constantly trying to survive.
And yet. Life is good. I have my family. My kids are both healthy and generally happy. My marriage is strong and the man I am married to is loving, faithful, understanding, and funny. We work well together as a team. My kids are creative and strong, and while they may not like each other all the time, they do love each other. I have a sister who is still with me. She is healthy and happy and loves me for who I am, though she does not always agree with my choices. I have good friends who support me and a God that died so I could go to heaven one day. And not only did He die so I could go to heaven one day, but I have a relationship with Him that allows me to talk to Him, feel His strength and directions, and have been given a faith that, while it has yet to move any actual mountains has helped us to survive life's battles.
I would love to say this perspective comes from me...but it does not. I am not that good or that strong. God has lovingly placed people in my life who have shown me some truths along the way. Some of them physically present, some of them cyberally (is that a word) present.
The first person who taught me that life may look bad but you just have to keep moving is my mom. I have discussed her here before-but the basics are she was given a body that allowed her very little physical freedom and a mind that allowed so much more than a human body ever can. If you go look around in my port you can read about her. I am not going to link here because I have other people I want to introduce to you. If you need to know which ones, just email me.
First, a family I asked you to pray for last week. http://cfhusband.blogspot.com/ They are amazing. Tricia has CF and just underwent a double lung transplant. Shortly before that, she gave birth to a miracle baby Gwyneth Rose-who despite being a micro-preemie is doing very well. Nate is primarily the one who updates this blog-willingly sharing their lives, the ups and downs with us all. Why? To give God the glory. To share with the world what God can and is doing and to bring awareness to organ donation and CF. The truth of the matter is that CF will (barring a miracle or a cure) eventually take Tricia's body...will take Nate's wife and Gwyneth's mom. Nothing will overcome her spirit and her soul. God already has those-and she lives to live. They both do. They've faced insurmountable odds and won. They were not stupid, they were well aware of the dangers they faced and the problems they could encounter. It was not easy. I am sure sometimes it would be easier to fall apart. And perhaps they do because they are, after all, only human. But the message isn't about never falling apart. It's about getting back up and continuing to fight. I could go on and on...but I think you should go take a look, read some updates, and see what message you take away from them.
The next person I want to introduce you to is a gentleman I first heard of last night. His name is Randy Pausch. He is a 47-year-old college professor who is dying from pancreatic cancer. I watched a news program on him...quite by accident. Apparently, there is a YouTube video of a lecture "The Last Lecture" that you can watch. Just go to YouTube or Google and type in "The Last Lecture" Lessons I took heart in was "The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to keep out those who don't want it badly enough." And to choose to "Tell the truth." And "Work hard". But the biggest thing I got from it, was deciding whether you are a Tigger or an Eyeore. I'd never really thought about it in that light..but he's right. We cannot change the cards we have been dealt, the bad things that happen or when we will die. But we can choose how to live. How we react. The hope we can offer others. In the end, Dr. Pausch states that this is about life lessons..and that it's not really for those in the audience, but for his kids-the three children he will leave behind...so that they will know what he thought and what he believed, and what he dreamed. It's a sad story...but a happy story. It unfortunately does not end with him miraculously beating a recurrent cancer that is difficult to beat to begin with-but with him living life to live-not as if he is dying. His children do not know, they are young and though they will be told in time, he and his wife don't want their lives and their memories clouded with the worries of what is to come.
I have followed several children and their families who have cancer for a few years. Many, sadly, have passed away-though many also end treatment and move onto a world that doesn't focus on illness-though the worries and the fears never go away. Recently, I've watched as two of these families have waded into those worries yet again-one http://caringbridge.org/fl/zacharyfinestone/ the family of a young man who has been fighting neuroblastoma for several years. Yesterday they got word that the beast is active again and they are, understandably in a holding pattern. The other family http://www.caringbridge.org/nc/sarahsmith/ also has dealt with relapsed neuroblastoma this time with a beautiful young daughter-but the recent scare was for her, but for mom-who they thought had breast cancer. Thankfully, she does not. But the grace and willingness to share their stories, to allow the world to laugh and cry with them is amazing. To watch the world (at least a portion of the world) respond in love, prayers, chocolate, and tears has been a joy to behold. Is the world nuts? Absolutely! Do bad things happen to good people? Yes. But when the chips are down and there does not seem to be any light...knowing that someone you do not even know is praying for you and cares is an awesome thing. I belong to a prayer board with some of those wonderful people who try to share a little bit of light and hope ...or a hand and a prayer...in a dark corner of worry and fear. You can visit it http://members.boardhost.com/tracysolomon/ . You don't have to register, you don't even have to leave a message. You don't even have to pray. But if you do, it will be appreciated greatly.
The last two, of many, who have recently had an impact on my perspective, is a slam poet by the name of Taylor Mali and Anita Renfroe who sings a song-called the mom song. I'll link both of them here...but first I want to explain. Taylor Mali is a poet I was introduced to through my English class. The poem I'm going to link to here, is not the one my English teacher shared with us-but one that I enjoyed even more. It's called "On What Teacher's Make" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU&feature=related I have to warn you, there is some swearing in it-so you might want to watch it without the kids first. And it is not conventional poetry-I'd never heard of Slam Poetry before this....it's interesting. This just stirred something in me..and makes me want to make a difference even more.
The mom song-Everything a mom says in 24 hours, put to music and sung in 2 minutes and 55 seconds-to the William Tell Overture. If you don't hear yourself, your mom, or a mom you know in there...you aren't listening...and if you don't laugh your butt off...it's time to check into somewhere to relax. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxT5NwQUtVM her name is Anita Renfroe.
I'll stop now. This is already very long. But somewhere in all of this, find some hope. Find some peace. Find a laugh or two. Know that you are loved and that while you may not have control over the rough spots in life, you do have control over how you live your life and how you react.
Sending hugs and blessings