I need to have a moment, friends. Here goes:Today was an amazing day. It was gorgeous outside in NYC. I spent it with my friends. I basked in the loveliness of Manhattan skylines in the company of those that I adore. Today was an amazing day. But, tonight, I can't sleep. In fact, I cried. I cried a big cry. And I don't cry big cries very often. No, 'tis not from a broken heart or sadness. 'Tis not from longing for another soul or despair. 'Tis not because of any particular personal negativity or pain, but an indirect realization to which I came at a remote moment while engaged in some independent reflection. It's not the first time I've realized this specific fact or felt this way, yet for some reason it really resonated with me at this very moment. So, I decided to write about it!
Yes, a spontaneous, non-thoughtout blog post for your reading interpretation if you will. You see, my friends and I, we got to talking about our respective weekends, it having been St. Patty's Day yesterday and all. And one of the friends that I hung out with today informed us that, while most of NYC was engaged in drunkenness and general reverie, he had spent his St. Patty's Saturday visiting a dear friend of his who was quite literally on her death bed. He had gone to say goodbye...his final goodbye to her. Her cancer started in her colon and had spread quickly, so quickly into some parts of her body that the cancer itself had broken bones in its ruthlessness to take over her system. Eventually, it reached the most sensitive parts of her anatomy. It left her with no more resistance and thus, there she was, as he recalled, on her proverbial death bed with just barely enough strength to open her eyes and say hi, but not enough to even extend a hand. She is 34-years old.
I have no idea who this person is. I only know of her story and am indirectly connected via my friend...yet I cry. I cry for her struggle, her pain, the un-lived life that she will leave behind. I cry for her parents, her family and friends, and happy tears for the blessing of the 34 years she sustained on this earth to begin with. And I cry for the petty little things that we bitch and complain about everyday. The waiting and the trudging, and the daily brouhaha that we curse and scorn on the regular, which is indicative of being chosen to simply live life. I'm a lover of life and appreciate having the chance to live it like most others, yet we are all human and find ourselves pining over things that in the grand scheme, may not really be all that crucial. Why does it take the realization of the uncanny suffering of another to the n~th degree of separation to fully realize one's own blessings? Perhaps for some it doesn't, but one can't help but feel more than a little ridiculous for cursing the lateness of the Metro or wondering whether or not someone's going to call when faced with such a dauntingly unchangeable reality. This girl should quite literally be spending her time worrying about whether her next date will go well, what she will name her first born child, whether to eat Chipotle or cook for herself, if she should take that vacay to Aruba, whether her job is paying her enough, etc, etc. But she can't. She just wants to extend her hand and be able to greet her friend in her final hours. And she can't. Yes, I know, people pass away every day, children even, to such unspeakable, uncontrollable factors. Yet this story in particular spoke to me. Hit me rather, like a bat upside the head. Pining, uncertainty, questioning, mistakes, and even the rare twinge of regret is part of a typical human experience. I'm sure I will find myself one day cursing the Metro once more, or pissed off at some other insignificant thing without pause. The point is to not let those things consume you and take away from living an emotionally rich and fulfilling life. The point is to take moments like now, stories like these, experiences like this and learn to take pause in those moments of unnecessary strife. The point is gratitude. The point is to remember that as long as you are healthy and living, you have the chance to make a significant impact in your current reality. You can think positive or negative. You can take action or choose inaction. But the major factor is that you can. Let's all take a moment and be grateful for that, shall we. Ahh...see, it's good to have a nice cry every now and again:)
I pray for my friend's friend, even though I do not have any personal connection to her. I pray that God take away her pain and fear and that she pass on into her next journey filled with peace and love and courage. I'm praying really hard. And I will do my damnedest to live out those same exact qualities in the whatever remainder of life God so choses to leave me with. I pray that I have more moments like these, that even when I think I've got the whole gratitude thing down, I continue to be humbled and dig deeper. It's amazing how someone you don't even know can affect you so, so much. Thanks for being part of my journey, mysterious lovely. God speed my friend.
P.S.- As an added note, if you find yourself ever dealing with overwhelming grief whether it be with the loss of a loved one, a job, or just really the need to talk to someone for reasons which you may not really know, it happens to the best of us, so don't hesitate to seek out the support you need. Utilize friends, family, clergy, or you can start here.