What is the Point?
First of all, thank you all for your magnificent response to my plea to help our friends Laura and Ed. For those of you who missed it, Laura has become a dear friend since the same doctor diagnosed her and Bill with pancreatic cancer on the same day. She and Ed are both teachers and now need financial help to continue to fight this horrible disease. So many of you responded so beautifully that, to date, we have raised enough money and “in kind” donations that their needs are taken care of for three months. Thank you, thank you, thank you! For those of you who would like to read more (and possibly donate) here is the link to my blog about it: http://silverspeaks.com/blogs/2013/07/what-would-you-pay-2/
I did not want to write my blog this week and yet I wanted to reach out to you. To know that you are there and listening is such a gift. “Being heard” is more powerful than anything in human relations, I think, and very precious.
Bill is not doing well and it is terrifying. This morning, as we held each other, I began to ponder the fact that the majority of fear, and all of worry is future-based. Whenever I lie in his arms or sit by his side and begin to worry about the future, I must constantly remind myself that he is here, now, within arms length.
I am human, though, and human nature is to project into the future. When the projections are positive, we call that dreaming. When they are negative, we call it worry. Bill asks me often how I stay so upbeat and the answer is always the same, “You are here and I love you. One day at a time.”
But there are moments when I collapse into tears of despair. Sometimes it’s in the laundry room and sometimes, embarrassingly, it is the supermarket. My friend Laura Lee, who lost her husband two years ago said, “Me, too! What IS it about supermarkets?” I think it’s because, when someone you love may be dying or already has, you think, “What is the point?”
One of my favorite quotes is from actress and former Mousketeer Annette Funicello who passed away in April after having lived with Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years. She said, “Life does not have to be perfect to be beautiful.” And maybe THAT’S the point. When you look for things to make you smile, life becomes beautiful in spite of circumstances. A beautiful bed of flowers, a child’s laugh or the love in your mate’s eyes are each components of “the point.”
(An aside: I am sitting on the couch next to Bill as I type this. He just woke up, squeezed my hand and said, “I just love being around you.” How lucky am I?)
You may recall the award-winning movie, Life is Beautiful in which a Jewish father, to protect his son from the horrors of the concentration camp in which they are imprisoned, uses his fertile imagination to invent an elaborate game and tells his son they are competing with everyone else for a tank. By getting his son to focus on the game, the father saved both the boy’s sanity and life. It is a touching movie with both a happy and unhappy ending—much like life itself.
Finally, and in a complete non sequitur, whenever I think of the phrase, “the point” I think of comedienne Ellen DeGeneres who never fails to make me laugh when she says, “My point—and I DO have one…”