The next small moment

I got the chickenpox last week. And then, apparently, strep throat too. It’s probably in large part the result of workaholic behaviors, added on to all the other stressors in my life.

Four straight days of a 102-104 degree fever mashes your ability to think coherently. But I did have a moment of recognition, having watched my mom suffer through cancer, treatment, and everything in between I now understand more about that feeling. Watching the four hours go by on the clock until the next dose, finally relaxing and breathing for the hour before the medicine starts to head on a downtrend again. Your life becomes about small moments. A milkshake takes the shape of hope that someone else would have for a new job, love, or traveling somewhere exotic.

My mom went through 4 1/2 years of suffering, though of course that’s not to say there were no good moments. There were plenty of good moments, but they didn’t come with any promises. For a while there I lent her my eReader, but at times even that was impossible, despite being unable to do anything besides lie in bed. The hunger to read a book becomes subsumed by the need to have a small moment free from pain, no matter how short.

We are here on earth to suffer, and our responsibility is to accept everything. People preach acceptance but try to control their lives. There isn’t any such thing as control. So we must accept and be open, instead of making our hearts and lives stiff and inflexible, bound to be broken eventually.

 

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