This past week was one filled with tragedy. Friday night, one of the eight graders that attend the school where I work was killed. While attending a party of a friend, he jumped into a swimming pool. No one is sure as to what caused him to become unconcious. CPR was unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. Sunday morning at two a.m., my sister-in-law was killed, and I will use the word killed, by cancer. The cancer had spread from her lungs, to her brain, and then to her heart. So much sadness in just one week.
How do you get over that kind of grief?
As a mother, I can not even imagine. It would be akin to drowning, but instead of dying, you kept conciousness while struggling to reach the top and break through to the surface. With eyes open, you can see life passing by, but there is nothing you can do to be part of it. I can not imagine what the boy's mother is experiencing. She lost her husband five years ago, and now, her son. How do you find the courage to go on and be a mother to her surviving children? How can your heart keep beating when it is in so much pain? How do you go on?
My brother met Vicky while working at a friend's restraunt. He had been divorced for several years, and was definately not much of a success in entering the free world. Crazy insane, opinionated, woman hating, God dissin man that he was, Vicky seemed perfect for him. She calmed his stormy sea, righted his wrong, and turned a blind eye to his rants and raves. She, in all clicheness, completed him, even saved him from his own self destruction. Dramatic, I know, but true. They were together for nearly a decade when Vicky was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. It was only a small spot, and they were sure they had gotten it all with radiation and chemo. Both of them were positive. However, it came back, and this time it spread throughout, and with speed. Vicky died within two weeks of being admitted into the hospital. My brothe...my brother is only going through the motions. Their children are all adults with lives of their own. He goes home to an empty house. The lights are off when he drives up. His bed is empty and cold. No one joins him on the porch for coffee. No one listens to his cornball jokes. He is alone. And no matter what kind of support we give him, we can't make his heart whole. Without the responsibility of taking care of his children, how will he go on? How can he get past this pain, and he is in pain. This woman saved him from himself, but he couldn't do anything to save her. And trust me, he will see it like that. That is how he is. Such enormous pain.
One of my favorite lines in poetry is "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may." I know that is reference to deflowering as many nubile virgins as possible, but to me it also means to get as much from life before death comes knocking at your door.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, by Robert Herrick
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
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