I have heard it said, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." There are quite possibly no truer words. Facing the onset of disease or battling a hardcore one trampling over you must be daunting and, most definitely, scary as well as perception changing. The older I get, the more I see evidence, in the people around me, of the ravages of age, substance abuse, depression, and disease. It is not pretty but part of life and in that, there is a certain beauty.
Last night, my daughters and I attended a benefit for a gentleman in our community that is facing the battle of his life, the quest for his death, Cancer has taken hold and we heard rumors floating about this fundraising event, that the evening's honoree had about ten months left. Ten months left to either conquer the quest or succomb to the battle. Not a lot of time to "get one's house in order."
If given a similar prognosis or prediction of a ten-month long goodbye, how would you handle it? Would family be your main concern? Parents, siblings, children, neices, nephews, spouse? Or would your concern be for self-preservation, seeking out every single possibility, no matter how great or small. Would work take the back seat or would you bury yourself further in hopes of a turn-around or as a result of simple denial? "This isn't hapening to me."
The cancer victim took to the dance floor near the end of the event. Had you not known he was sick and had you just seen him on the street, you might not even guess that he was ill, gravely ill. Perhaps that is one of the curses of some types of cancer, Here is where that certain beauty plays into it..., Cancer hasn't yet removed his will to live, as a matter of fact, the will is not just stronger but deeper, more complex. The smile he wore was more significant. The handshakes held meaning not present just a few months prior. The music was sweeter and the food & drink better. The flavor of life more instense with the spice of friendship savored all the more.
The "sickness" I expected to see was not there. Beauty had come to rest. Maybe regrets had been addressed and dismissed already. Maybe life was righted by being set on its ear. Hate quickly becomes a non-issue, for what is its purpose? It has none. Why do we fail to see this when all is well, when all is right? Ask George Bailey (It's a Wonderful Life) or Joe Banks (Joe vs. the Volcano). So many lessons at the end of our DVD player remote. So many examples of certain beauty. Shouldn't we know better by now?