05 April 2019

alive and kicking

Every cell inside of me should know by now that I cannot ask for more. That this is all there is, all the support, help, interest, all the research and therapy options, all the drugs, and all the sympathy I will every receive, ever deserve. I cannot ask for sacrifices, cannot ask for other people's lives be put on hold, that they diverted too much from their own lives' goals, their purpose, their desire, or their joy.
Nobody can cut a slice out of their healthy life and pass it on to me. That's not how it works. In the long run, I am here to handle it alone. And while it is often difficult, I am well aware how vital it is to show that I can cope, to put on a brave face.
To even make a joke about it, sprinkle some dry humour on this mess from time to time.

Cue another gem from my very distant classical education, this one from Seneca, the Roman philosopher from Cordoba. If I remember correctly, he was also a satirist.  You never know how to read a satirist.

The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in fate´s control and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? 

I am writing this on a Friday night, listening to the playlist I made for my grandchild earlier today - or rather for my daughter to listen to while breastfeeding and bouncing her baby and remembering the days when I swung her around on my hip, when danced in the kitchen and jumped on the bed together.
Earlier, I sent the man out into the world for drinks and live music with the healthy world while I grandly stifled my urges to shout something mad and angry about unfairness. Something I would regret later.
But I repeat myself.


37paddington said...

A good reminder for me too. Acceptance is not surrender. Perhaps it is peace.

am said...

Memories gather songs into a loving playlist for future listening. So many good songs come to mind when nothing more can be done. Thank you for this one, Sabine. Sending love against all odds. Just now, late in the day, there is a double rainbow forming in the sky to the east.

Linda said...

Expectation....why don't we learn earlier that it is deadly? Why don't we teach our kids from day one? Beautifully written Sabine.

Ms. Moon said...

I never feel wise enough to comment here or on Rosemarie's blog sometimes. Y'all are just so amazing when it comes to cutting right through to the heart of it. But I've been thinking lately about how we humans seem to be born with an idea of what is "fair" and what is not. Children whine a lot about how "it's not fair!" if something good happens to a sibling and not them. Life isn't fair. But don't we also do our best work when we try to make things fairer in this world? Isn't that what people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are trying to do? Make things fairer for all of us? I don't know.
But I do know that it doesn't seem fair, at least, that someone who loves life and all it offers the way you do should be struck by such a horrible and relentless disease. At the age of sixty-four I still think that.
And here's a song for your playlist. It makes me sad and a little giggly at the same time.

ellen abbott said...

somewhere along the way I let go of expectation, rather I try to keep myself open to how the day/event/plan plays out, changes. go with the flow. there is always tomorrow. the only thing that changes the quality of my life is how I feel about it.

your aside about dancing in the kitchen with your daughter/child. I would do that with my grandkids. I wonder if, now they are grown, they will recognise some of the music I played a lot when they were babies, toddlers, young children, hearing it and having a feeling of love and fun evoked without knowing why.

Steve Reed said...

Well, of course you're intellectually right about all this, but still, it sucks. How could it not? I'm glad you have your playlist, which IS something. :)

It's very Buddhist to shed expectation and be alive to the moment, to what's real, for better or for worse.

Incidentally, that video brings back a lot of memories for me!

Anonymous said...

I like the quote very much. It's an interesting thing trying to be in the here and now. I fantasize that if I lived in an ashram that task would be so much easier. I have no words of wisdom. I wish I were your neighbor.

liv said...

I wish my daughter could read this. There are awakenings here that would benefit her. Things that may only be on the tip of her consciousness. Bravo for you and your self examination. I admire that.
And it is, in my opinion - from personal experience, perfectly reasonable to shout what ever you want when you are alone!

My life so far said...

Expectations so often lead to disappointment, don't they? I'm sitting here waiting for my first grandchild to be born to a woman I hardly know, who wants nothing to do with my son. There will be no proud photos of my son with his new son, no warm family photos, no dad waiting in the delivery room for his son to appear. The whole thing just sucks. It's not fair!

Life is hard. There are moments of pure joy but a lot of it is hard work. Sorry, I'm feeling sorry for myself tonight. I think babies, children deserve more than they get in this world. They don't ask to be born and they come into messy, complicated lives.

Colette said...

I love your blog.

Joared said...

I long ago concluded life is not fair — whatever made me think it was or would be, or when did I lose that expectation?