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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Why did Grandma die, doesn’t she love us anymore?”

When my mother was dying several years ago, we gathered for a week at her bedside, all eleven of us, her children, coming in from all parts of the country, also numerous grandchildren.

My mother’s body was shot, after living with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other maladies, including my father who now had Alzheimer’s. She’d had enough; it was her time to go.

When I was growing up, we went on weekly picnics in the nice weather.  My mother loved to sing; she had a beautiful voice. She and my father, whose voice was not as exceptional, would lead us in the old songs that they grew up with. We would all sing around the fire at night and on all those drives to and from.

So, around my mother’s bed, we sang these same songs. When we got the words wrong she would jump in and help us. Then she died.

I missed when she passed out of her body and briefly burst into tears when one of my sisters said she was gone.

The next day I was hanging out with my nieces. Jana, a very vivacious eight year old, was very sad and angry.

“Why did Grandma die?” she asked. “Doesn’t she love us anymore?”

She could not understand why her grandma, who had held on until everyone had come in from Illinois, California, Connecticut, and Colorado, would abandon her. Jana sorely missed her.

I explained that Grandma’s body was all worn out, that it was very hard for her to stay alive when she was so old and so sick.

I said it was time for her to leave her body and go on to something else like a caterpillar in a chrysalis becomes a butterfly. “Would you want Grandma to stay the way she is, all sick and broken down, just because you don’t want her to go away?”

Jana’s face changed. Still serious, but now a little lighter, she asked, “Is Grandma a butterfly?”

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Welcome to this blog.

As you may have already guessed, this is not a chronological rendering of my precious thoughts as they seep spontaneously  and  incoherently from my mind, but, rather, a collection of pieces that are self-contained and hopefully interesting in themselves without necessitating an awareness of what has gone before.

That doesn’t mean you can’t read them in the order they were posted , or, for that matter, in reverse order (the way blogs are set up).  However, one suggestion would be to select by title from the Index or by topic from Categories and read what intrigues you the most.

The following is the first post I wrote. It explains why I began to craft this in the first place, thanks for visiting:

I watched “Julie and Julia” last night with my wife. Blogging looked like fun. I was sorry that Julia didn’t approve of Julie’s blog after all the love and excitement Julie had for her. They both seemed like wonderful people. However, this was based on a true story and real life doesn’t work out the same as movies with perfectly neat endings. Sometimes things end with a whimper.

This world we live in, set to end in 2012? Will it be a storybook ending? Will our feared enemies overtake us? Will we succumb to immense earthquakes and other seismic extravaganzas or will we choke to death on our own dumping?

Will it matter? The earth is only a tiny ball hurtling through space. You could fit a million of them into our average-size sun. Our solar system, all the way out to Saturn, could be fit into Canis Majoris, the largest star in our galaxy. There’s over a hundred billion stars in our galaxy and over one hundred billion galaxies in our universe. So will it matter if this nearly infinitesimal speck is deleted by a quick backspace of the cosmos??

It matters to me. Just like the little girl said about the starfish she was throwing back in the ocean. I think we matter and Life itself will do its best to keep our quiet corner of the universe safe for us, but we have to help. I can’t just assume everything is going to be fine if I don’t make at least some effort as we gag on our own refuse.

What does this refuse include? Our treatment of the planet, of other countries, other nationalities and races, of our fellow citizens, neighbors, of our families and ourselves.

I’ve always found it difficult to love myself, how can I pretend to love others if I don’t love myself, right here, right now.

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