Friday, August 22, 2008

Carpe diem

A quaint phrase, my title. Almost cliche. Almost.

Last week, I attended the funeral of my 53 year old aunt. Married to my mother's brother, she wasn't a blood relative, but nonetheless, she's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

She had been battling ovarian cancer for around 10 years, and as it does, cancer took the final round. She didn't want a funeral, just a memorial mass. So, I stood in the church and watched my uncle say goodbye to his wife.

A new suit - he wanted to look good for her. Make her proud.
Standing beside his son, trying to be strong.
Quietly losing her; his everything. (His words, not mine.)

If anything confirmed my lack of religion and faith, it was listening to the priest tell a grieving family and congregation that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. That she had gone to a better place. That they should have faith in God's plan.

I say no.

I want my uncle to know that the love he and his wife shared was enough. There was no lack. I don't want him to think of her away in some heaven, I want him to keep her close, in his heart. I want him to feel her smile and continue living his life, sharing joy and pain with her as long as he needs to.

She was too young to go, she didn't deserve the pain of a terrible disease. But it happened. They dealt with it with love, humour, and great friends - the best they could. I'd rather have my uncle embrace the life they lived, than consign it to an indiscriminate God's plan.

So, go out and seize the day. 53 doesn't seem as far away as it once did.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Random Internet-tery

So, I seem to be on a blog spiral. I have six or eight blogs bookmarked in my browser, but lately I've been exploring the list of blogs these folks link on their pages. Kinda like an introduction to the proverbial "friend-of-a-friend". I've ended up in the strangest places...

A gay gentleman in Quebec linked me to a recent identity scandal, where a blogger claimed to be someone they were not. Not exactly surprising in the most general of scopes, but this deception seemed to have been quite far reaching and complex. When someone falls in love with a persona and individuals are moved to send presents and gifts for fictional children, you know hearts and spirits are going to be bruised when the truth outs.

In guise of father and parent, this person wrote of his experiences and dreams; or rather, plagiarized the writing and images of another. In a stunning display of bad judgement, not surprising given the trend so far, this person plagiarized blog components from a women struggling with the death of her infant son. A lovely writer, laying her pain bare as part of healing and living...

Last night, I read posts from her blog and the blogs of others she links - tears pouring down my face. Suddenly grateful and terrified for the two-and-a-half year old Hamlet, snoozing blissfully in the next room. Anxious for two close friends who are due this year: one in September and one in November. Remembering with cold clarity that moment in the delivery room, as they frantically prepped me for an emergency c-section, where I thought "Is this where it goes wrong? After 9 months; it is here where the world changes?"

I will return to some of these new places I've discovered, if for no other reason than to enjoy the writing of someone writing with focus, with grace, with humour.