A flash of lightning–or why I’m trying hard not to be a zombie.
Just got off the phone with my aunt. My grandfather is in the hospital again. He was up all night vomiting, so they rushed him to the ER. At the hospital, they put a tube in his throat, but he pulled it out. He’s telling family members that he’s going to die.
My grandparents raised me. My grandfather taught me about being a man. My grandmother taught me how to love. They’ve been together for more than 60 years. When my grandfather passes, it’s going to break my grandmother’s heart.
It’s been a rough 2 weeks. My stepfather went into the hospital a couple of weeks ago with a kidney problem. He’s going to be in a nursing home for 3 months on dialysis recovering. And while I wasn’t as close to him as I am to my grandfather, it still makes me reflect on mortality and death.
On top of that, all of my material objects have decided they want to break: My laptop randomly reboots whenever it feels like it; my still camera’s lens grinds when I turn it on; my phone’s screen and volume are broken–and it drops calls; one of my flip cameras has a broken, unusable screen; AND my soap dispenser is no longer pumping. Top that off with a week long stomach bug, and it’s hard to feel like I’m not drowning.
I’m trying hard to understand my emotions right now. I can’t let myself go numb, and I can’t escape into depression. I know I should feel this. I need to be in the moment, acknowledging what’s happening and understanding that it’s life.
People die. We all die. It’s written into the contract of life. Nothing lives forever. Things change. Things break. Nothing is permanent–especially flesh. It’s hard idea to swallow–and it sounds cold–but it’s the only truth in life.
The seasons always change. Summer doesn’t last forever, and neither does the winter. We have to enjoy every moment during the summer: bask in the sunlight, complain about the heat, and fill our hearts with swimming and sunsets. But we always know that fall will come. And then winter. No matter how hard we try to hold on to summer, it still goes. So it must be with people and things.
People come into our lives. They share time with us. They touch us. They affect us. Sometimes they hurt us. Sometimes they love us. In the end, they all pass out of our lives. Impermanence is the only constant.
As much as I want to fight the death of my grandfather, my brother, my grandmother, my good friends, it’s futile. This life is a flash of lightning, a summer rainbow, a flower in bloom: beautiful, ephemeral, precious. We can’t be scared or sad. We can’t control the future. We can only enjoy our time now.
Cherish it, my friends. Love your life. Love your friends and family. Take note of every moment: the light, the dark, the smell, your feelings (good or bad), the sounds, the colors and tastes. At the same time, know it’s all fleeting.
All of this is easier said than done. Small steps. Remember: It’s a miracle each morning when we wake up and are still breathing.
Thank you all for the joy you bring me.
V + <3
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