Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Youth, Like Diamonds in the Sun

I give you my word, the next post will be a bit more uplifting. This one isn't so much for you reading as it is for me, writing and crying. There's finally enough time and space in my day, and enough alone time, to let go.

Yesterday, and life in general at the moment, brought more pain to a dear friend and her family than anyone should ever need to know. They were told that their youngest child, not yet two years old, is unlikely to survive his battle with an extremely aggressive and rare brain cancer. Not yet two years old. Everyone who knows them is broken and helpless. Youth, like diamonds in the sun....and diamonds are forever.

He will be forever young. As our children and her other child grow, reaching milestone after milestone, he will be forever young. Tell me how to reconcile this - this vision of a mother seeing her friends' children maturing and leaving her son behind. Wondering what might have been for him. Wondering if, because she is one to believe in God, this was the only proper ending to the life He created. It must be so painfully visceral.

Attempting to quantify her emotional anguish right now isn't the point, believe it or not, so enough of that.

Cancer and death have taken a lot from me, and from several people I care about, in the past year or so. They nearly took my faith in God altogether. Ultimately, though, there has been good from that...beauty from ashes, as it were. It's led me to question absolutely everything about what I believe, thought I believed, or ever considered believing. Call it an Eat Pray Love year in that regard, sure, why not? My beliefs, which were fairly blind in retrospect in the sense that I believed because I was told "this is how it is" rather than digging in and asking the important questions - and more importantly, seeking and being open to the answers - have undergone a radical change. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Crises of faith aren't necessarily a bad thing, and that is the face-smacking realization of the day.

This time, I'm not angry with God. I'm not seeking to understand the injustice of a family losing their baby. I'm not convinced that all of us who prayed for his miracle (not to say that I pray in the traditional sense, but I firmly believe in enlisting the help of those who do when the situation seems to call for it) were discarded and deserted, or that it is "God's will". It simply is.

That's it.
It simply is.
Perhaps there is a plan. Maybe once we've completed the purpose we fulfill within the human community as we know it, we are free to leave it. Or not. I don't have that answer, but I have a peace that Someone, Somewhere, does.

What I believe is that God exists. Far, far too much evidence of His presence surrounds me every day - my toddler's sweet, sticky kisses, a perfectly-timed text from a friend, an afternoon in the park with a gentle breeze, my husband's quiet companionship - to convince me otherwise. I believe that I am a part of something here on this earth, and that in doing right by those who share this earth with me, I do right by the God who created it and put us here. I believe that everyone has divinity within herself, and that our highest calling is to honor that divinity. Like in the children's book The Kissing Hand, as Chester and his mother hold one another's kisses tight and press them to their faces to remind them that they are always surrounded by love...we are always enveloped in love.

They will always be enveloped in love.

It simply is. Not "it is what it is", with that snarky tone, but that It Simply Is.
Another crisis of faith may lead me elsewhere, but for today it lends me enough comfort to do what I can to comfort my friend.

Wishing you love as you ask your own questions and seek your own answers.....