Chasing Inspiration

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Can I have a Do-Over, Please?

Some days it's better to stay snuggled under the quilt and let the hours pass by without ever setting foot out of bed. If I had stayed in bed that day in July, then chances are I would not have taken a header down a flight of stairs (about 12 stairs in this flight) and bruised my body so badly that the simple act of walking became an exercise in extreme pain management. I had bruises on bruises and whenever Velcro Dog brushed up against my shins I had to bite back a yelp of agony.

I didn't get a do-over for that Tuesday. I can only move forward. One painful, agonizing step at a time.

Today is another one of those days where I wish I could get a do-over. But not for myself. I want a do-over for a friend. She's battling cancer and it looks like cancer is going to win. We're at the bottom of the 9th and there is no one left at bat. Last year we all thought she had a clean bill of health after treatment for breast cancer. She fought and beat the beast back through will and guts and a great medical team. Then February came and the hard news that the cancer was back. Stage 4. There's no cure for that today. Only management. And she managed the hell out of it for a while. We thought there was going to be a miracle. She was going to be one of the few who came through.

Then yesterday I got the news. She's dying. Not that ambiguous dying in that she has months/years to live. No, she's home on her death bed and the end is a cold wind slithering around the corner, stealthy and picking up speed. She has days. Hours. Minutes.

I want a do-over. I want to turn back the clock and have that clean bill of health from last year to still be true. I want to turn the clock back even further and give her a world where she was never touched by cancer to begin with. Where she is still out there living life with her courage and her joy and determination. Where another person I know and care about doesn't have to worry about life being ripped cruelly away.

I want to reconcile my belief in an afterlife and God with the pain of seeing someone younger than me wasting away because of a disease we can't cure. I want to believe for myself - and for her - that today is a blessing. It's not the end, just an end. And that the next beginning for her will be one of peace and joy. No pain. No regrets. Just love.

There aren't do-overs. We can only move forward. I cling to my belief in a better place after death while she moves toward the inevitable. I know her life and dying aren't in vain. I know the world is better for her life and that many will be touched and changed by this end.

That doesn't make me wish any less for that do-over. But that we had that power. Go well. Go with love, as you are loved.

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