Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Truths and Untruths

I have a collection of quotes that have meaning to me.  Some of them are touching, some inspiring, and others are words to which I take issue and want to make a correction.

For example:

                                           "Try not! Do, or do not.  There is no try."

Sorry, Yoda, I have to disagree:

The truth is that there is try.  There is trying as hard as one can, with all of one’s might and all of one’s effort, and sometimes that still does not translate into do.  You can pray, beg for mercy, bargain with everything you’ve got, and still sometimes the thing you are trying for just doesn’t happen.  You can play full out, go for the win, gut it out as Dad told me on so many runs, but still nothing. Like the project manager in Apollo 13, you can say, Failure is not an option.”  But the truth is that sometimes it is the outcome, and your goal cannot be achieved, no matter what.  And then: what lies behind you forever changes both what lies ahead and what lies within.  That’s the truth, that’s the wisdom, and that sucks.

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

Correction, Superman, it’s really not.

"A man reaps what he sews" – nope, not always true!  Sometimes Karma is just shit that happens to you, no matter how good or clean of a life you’ve lived.  

I want to represent those of us who only WISH we could believe in Karma these days! 

I sometimes wish a stubbed-toe on someone whom I perceive as having done wrong to me or someone I care about, but I can't believe in a force of any kind that would bring suffering like cancer to a person of any moral status or other qualifying factor.  I used to think that what goes around comes around, but not anymore.  Now I think that shit just happens; it's all random, except for the way that we choose to deal with it when it does happen.

Believe me, my family and I realize we were lucky to have had my dad as long as we did - 66 years and then 75 days of illness.  In the same vein but based on stories I have heard since my family became so well acquainted with the cruel thief that is aggressive terminal cancer, I am grateful for my dad’s sake that he didn’t have to suffer for too long.  I have no idea how parents get through the loss of a child; I am sure I would crumble.

All we can try to do to keep it together is absorb the support of those around us and hold on to the hope that ONE DAY the memories that bring us to our knees in grief right now will fade and be overshadowed by those of sweetness, love, and connection from when we were lucky enough to have that person right here with us.  And, to work everyday to keep our perspective:  to realize that the truth is that how we feel and how we cope are in large part a CHOICE as we go forward, that things could always be worse/harder/shittier, and, like my dad always said, "If you feel lucky, then you are."

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