I’m finding it hard to know how I am supposed to feel today. Normally, this is a day of celebration. That doesn’t feel right or possible today. Another myeloma friend, and I hate even saying it like that because myeloma should not define anyone, but Mike died the other day at 46 years old. Like Adina, he left a spouse and 2 teenage daughters. Corona virus took him from his family and this world. He was one of the sweetest, kindest men I have ever met. He deserved so much better, as did his family. There are others I know who are currently fighting this damn virus. My husband has 4 family members, 2 that are in the hospital now, one in very bad shape, and his sister and brother in law are recovering. We live in a “hotspot” of the disease, right across the river from NYC. In addition to all this, I spent the month of March in another life and death struggle with my dad and had to move my parents into an assisted living facility at the very worst time to do that. I put my family’s health, and lives, at risk in order to take care of him in the hospital and move them. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I have 2 sisters, who do not handle stress well, lash out at me in the middle of all this at a time when that was the last thing I or my family needed. Life looks very different right now from what it did just 6 weeks ago. Unimaginably different, when you consider everything that is going on.
I do not feel like celebrating. My family is fractured. People are sick and dying. Others are mourning the death of loved ones that took half their hearts with them when they left. Most everyone is living in fear right now of their own mortality and so many of the people I know have cancer so this virus is so much more risky for them. But, if there is one thing that I’ve learned in the 13+ years of living with the grief of my husband’s MM diagnosis, it is this……being morose and depressed does not help any of those people. In fact, those people would probably be screaming at us to be grateful for what we DON’T have wrong in our lives on this day. I am, by no means, being dismissive of the feelings of people who are lonely and depressed in this lockdown, or those who mourn or are fighting for their lives. I am, instead, saying that we owe it to them to be grateful for what we have today. There is no damn sense in good people losing their lives in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc. But when we can’t find sense, the only option left is to find meaning.
If you can breathe today without assistance, you are blessed. If you can get up and walk across your house or back yard, you are blessed. If you have someone to love that loves you, you are blessed. If you have food to eat and money to pay your bills, you are blessed. There are so many things that you might have going right in your life that others do not. We can pray for those people and we can help where we can. But, just like I don’t think you honor a person who dies by spending the rest of your life mourning, I don’t think we honor or help anyone by being so morose that we sit around catatonic about all that is wrong with the world.
So, today, I am going to concentrate of what is right with my life. And, I am going to try to push out the grief and fear as much as possible. I am going to try to find the flowers among the rubble. I am going to dwell on my family’s blessings.
Happy Easter, Passover, and spring to y’all!!!