Sunday, February 23, 2014

Passing Time

Life really is short. I am waking to this reality in a new way lately. My mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I never dreamed we'd be facing the possibility of her dying any time soon. In a moment, all the plans change.  She is the closest person to me other than my husband and children.

It's shocking. It's eye-opening. It makes all the time we worry about stupid things so empty. She has taught me so much.  She gave me a love for art and talent for portraits.  She also gave me faith.  I see much how hers grips her. But, she loves. She gives.

Life is short. We only have this very short time to enjoy, love, learn, embrace, teach, inspire, and be a little part of this universe.

My goal is to spend it well. I hope to share with others what I have learned.  Yet, I have a sense of relief that I can only do so much. There is no eternal pressure, only love for others.

7 comments:

fRED said...

Oh no...This is shocking news.

Recently, my colleague at work, Jack, blurted out that he had just learned his wife had Stage 4 cancer. He was clearly stunned (as I was too).

Since my father died (18 years ago) from colon cancer, I have a colonoscopy periodically. Hope you get checked out.

Interesting and revealing title of your post: "Passing Time". Couple meaning to read into it.

Stage 4 is serious but there can always be hope. Yet we are mortal beings.

Does your mom live close by? Hopefully, she has a good support network to encourage her. Is she a practicing Christian/RC?

Dealing with mortality is challenging for everyone. A lot of people find reassurance in the thought of afterlife of paradise and peace.

Best wishes to you and your mom and your family during this time.

AJL said...

Thank you fRED. I was glancing through your blog and noticed just how much religion and spirituality play a major theme in your posts. Curious where you are these days in your beliefs.

fRED said...

AJL,

Where am I these days in my beliefs?

To my orthodox family members and friends I am doomed to hell for not going to church, not raising my son as a Christian, and my rejection of Jesus as God. To my atheist family members and friends I am perceived as something of a Christian (or at least a Christian sympathizer) because of my knowledge and interest.

In short, I am caught in the crossfire. I'm something of a nowhere man.

Actually, I am probably a deist. I classify myself a "seeker" because I am seeking to find God. "Seeker" might not be right term but ....

As an scientific thinking oriented person, my quest involves stripping away bias (and minimizing preconceived notions) in order to uncover the heart of the matter. I like to consider a variety of possibilities and perspectives to arrive at something of my own homogenized view.

If there is a God that is close to the Christian description, I could be in big(ger) trouble because I am always complaining to him, often with emotionally earthy words. I don't think He's paying much attention though (e.g., I have still not won the lottery).

The rosary was a big part of my childhood. A few years ago, I resumed saying it during my morning commute. I found that it is a good tool to clear my mind of distractions (and, hopefully, lower my blood pressure).

Being raised in a staunch RC family, I have concluded that I cannot escape my RC heritage. On the other hand, I cannot fathom ever again practicing RCism or any kind of normative Christianity.

So at best, the status of my belief can be best understood as agnostic.

AJL said...

I have found the aspect of prayer to be helpful is the relaxing, hopeful side of it. Letting go of stress and enjoying a moment of peace. Gratitude and appreciation are also great for this. Sometimes when I am now in a situation where I would have prayed before, I will take a minute to be at peace, thankful, appreciative, and let go of the things I cannot control.

I don't miss the rosary. :)

fRED said...

I stumbled across a couple columns in the NYTimes that I think readers of this blog will find worth their while to check out:

"Is Atheism Irrational?" (2/9/14) [http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational ]

"Arguments Against God" (2/25/14) [http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/arguments-against-god/?_php=true&_type=blogs&hp&rref=opinion&_r=0 ]

These are interviews conducted by Gary Gutting for the Stone on the Opinion Pages.

Bill S said...

Wow, I'm so sorry. It must be difficult knowing that prayers won't make her better and being surrounded by people who insist on saying they are praying for her and maybe expecting that you do the same. It is what it is.

fRED said...

AJL-
Hope things are calm despite the rough seas regarding your mom.

Death is virtually incomprehensible to us mortals despite encountering every day.

Spring is coming here in the NE. Lost an hour today due to the switch to Daylight Savings Time. Yesterday morning, I woke to hear birds chirping and singing at sunrise. I love that!

Are "all" your parents still alive (i.e., your and your husbands & any step parents)? Only my mother is left.

Oddly, the deaths of my elders has not affected my faith very specifically although the loss of certain people in my life has been a huge influence on my outlook. The loss of my mother-in-law in a car accident a few years ago had the biggest impact because of how the family responded.

You note the influence of your mom on giving you faith. What kind of faith? Is she religious or ...?

Bill- I wonder what your experience has been with the loss of a parent (including in-laws).

Shalom!