Tuesday, September 21, 2010

what is it?

If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that all my familia (small though it may be) was in town for a long weekend of birthday extravaganza-ing.  It was a good excuse; a few birthdays, some babysitting needs I had, extra airline credit to use up.... all converged for a convergence of my family in our town.  It was wonderful.

The not-so-wonderful thing was that my mom's husband was there.  The wonderful thing is, he's a wonderful guy.  Are you confused yet?  There's nothing wrong with him, really.  In fact he is amazing.  But he's my mom's husband.  Not my dad.  My dad, who has never met my husband or my three children and knows nothing of my current life.  If you've been reading for a while, you may remember that I memorialized the 13th anniversary of my dad's death this year. He died of a brain tumor.

My dad's five brothers, bless their hearts, were terrified about dying themselves from a brain tumor.  I don't know if their concern over their own mortality led them to be really crappy during that time in our lives or they are just generally crappy people.  Since they are related to my great dad, I'm going to go with the former.  Anyway.  So all that was a long time ago.  Now, one of my uncles has basically ruined his life and has been in the hospital for a few months.  He's behaved in such a way as to throw his life away, when my dad more than likely would have given anything to keep his.  It's so complicated ~ isn't it always? ~ but it makes me so sad.

This weekend, my grandma facebook messaged me.  Yes, my 70-something-years-old grandma!  She wanted to tell me "before it gets all over facebook" that another one of my uncles has cancer.  It's so odd.  It may not be a brain tumor, but it's definitely another way to face your own mortality.  I'm aching for my aunt and my cousins.  I'm aching for my grandma, who has already lost a husband and son, and is facing the distinct possibility of losing two more. 

Then I get frustrated.  I'm of the camp that 'if it's your time to go, it's your time' and it may be from cancer, gangrene, a car crash or a 15-pound hail ball, but....you're gonna go.  Death is inevitable!  It's just that these illnesses force us to stare death in the face, while we might normally do a very good job of relegating it to a small corner behind us.  It's another good reminder, even for me who really isn't skittish about death, to get my house in order.  How about you?  Are you 'ready'?


Meadowlark said...

You might know from a recent post that the son of a very close friend is struggling with a brain tumor as we speak. I know for me, the main reason I say "it can't be his time" is because she is not "ready" for it. I simply do not want to see my friend suffer like this.

Oddly enough, in my real life, this attitude is one of the main reasons I never worry about the Husband when he's on a SWAT call - if it's his time it's his time. But somehow, cancer seems to feel like a cheat that changes the original plans. Know what I mean?

I am ready/not ready. My spiritual life is in order, but there is so much I'm not prepared to miss.


Pam Landy said...

There is something about the job that brings death into the living room, as it were. Not to say I wouldn't be a hysterical wreck if JB were to get killed, but it's a topic more front-and-center than it would be if he were, say, a mechanic.

But cancer is expensive, and unpredictable, and there are rarely any answers. I think that can be more frightening than a lot of other options.

Best of luck. We're thinking of you. <3

BunnyO said...

My dad also died from a brain tumor. This post kind of spooked me. Cancer sucks no matter what.. but brain tumors are their own monster. I can relate to you in so many ways. I have thought these same things so many times.