Friday, April 07, 2006

My blog is sinking under the weighty weight of this post

Hello. Posted my goodbye yesterday because I thought I wouldn’t have time to write anything before leaving for NYC. However, I wrote most of this entry a few nights ago and saved it as a draft. I wasn’t sure I wanted to publish it because it’s a bit heavy. I do that a lot—write drafts that I never publish (read into that what you will). But then Lisa posted something on religion, and I thought, hey! Maybe it’s a sign. Or maybe not, but at the very least it’s a way to organize my thoughts and get them out of my head.

Stories of NYC to come after the weekend…

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Last Friday night a good friend and I got together at my house for the sole purpose of drinking wine. Well… also to talk, but wine always makes for more colorful discussion. We also lit some candles and banished my husband to the family room.

Much interesting conversation ensued, but the parts that intrigued me most were the ones about religion. My friend L is a youth minister who is currently attending seminary. I’m an agnostic. So you can see how that could create an interesting friendship, especially since I was somewhat religious when we first became friends 11 years ago.

At some point the conversation turned to death and dying. L was describing a friend of hers who died of breast cancer. The friend was hospitalized. She’d been suffering for quite a while. And then one night, suddenly, she lifted her head and fixed her eyes above on something no one else could see. Peace seemed to wash over her, and she smiled. And then she passed away.

Something seemingly similar happened to my mother when I was a child. She has a very rare disease that isn’t widely known today, and was even lesser known back when she first got sick. It had been weeks and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. At some point she lay in her hospital bed, wept, and thought, “I’m going to die.”

At that moment she saw a white cloud with a brilliant light shining behind it, and a voice said simply, “You are not ready to see me yet.” And while this sounds like something from a TV movie, later that day my dad happened to stumble upon a magazine article about a disease marked by the same symptoms my mom had. He showed it to her doctors, and guess what? That’s what it was. Treatment was started, and she recovered. With daily medication she lives a very healthy life today.

Now being a logical person (most of the time), I ask myself how I can hear stories like that (from my own mother, no less) and still be an agnostic. I don’t know. That’s the beauty that is my brain, which I think is slowly being squeezed out by the raucous carnival that’s taken up residence in my head lately.

After L left my house Friday night, however, I had an interesting dream.

I was in the hospital, and my friend L was dying. I was holding the broken pieces of a white plastic cross in my hand. The cross looked like it was made out of the same plastic as a treasured Christmas decoration that my mom displayed every year of my childhood. I was distraught because I couldn’t find one of the pieces. As I was searching the floor for it, L started thrashing in the bed. I raced to her side and grabbed her hand. And then she died, and it happened just the way she’d described her friend’s passing.

In the dream I fell to my knees, screaming and sobbing. I remember thinking that I finally understood the meaning of the expression “it brought me to my knees”. I had never felt such grief before, and the way it ripped through my body felt like dying.

And then I woke up.

3 Comments:

Blogger His suzy said...

As cliche as this has sometimes become, I think it's true that "the Lord works in mysterious ways." For me personally, there's been too much evidence of Him and His working in the world around me to ever doubt that, even if some of my beliefs about right and wrong don't stay the same.

Take what you want from that, just my two cents. Hope you have a great weekend! :)

5:50 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I was just planning on writing about the same weighty topic. I've been "writing" it out in my head for the past week.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and no bathroom issues on the Chinatown Express!

roxanne

11:26 PM  
Blogger verniciousknids said...

Hmm...there's a lot of interesting imagery in your dream. The broken pieces in your hand could symbolise the loss of something special to you - doesn't need to be material, it could be emotional. And as you're searching for the "missing piece" it seems as though you have not yet reached closure regarding this issue.

11:33 AM  

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