Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where Did the Time Go?

I haven't written on this blog for over five years. I guess the whinefest I left last time I was here was just too damn annoying to return. One of my friends, Tiana, recently established a blog here, so I figured I'd send her a little shout out. It took me about five minutes of fooling around to figure out that I'd never remember my user name/password combo. Once that was all squared away I reminisced (after gagging during the last post) by reading some of my other essays.

I've also been following the blog of a woman whom I guess a lot of people followed, Michelle Mayer's Diary of a Dying Mom. She passed away today. Reading her posts have often left me in tears. Heck, thinking about her posts has often caused my eyes to sting.

It's admittedly shallow, but I don't tend to carry other people's problems around with me. It's not exactly an out-of-sight-out-of-mind deal, but it's close enough that I'm not proud to admit it.

But Michelle and her family, especially her young children have weighed heavily on my mind. Maybe it's because of my own two kids and how I worry about what will happen to them if anything should happen to me. It's probably also the clear, open way Michelle has written about her experience and journey from life to death. Somewhere along the blog I could see that she's the type of woman I would have as a friend, and I felt like a friend to her, silently cheering her on. Even as she said her good-byes, I hoped that the disease that was claiming her life would miraculously reverse itself. It did not.

I wondered how I would react when she passed away. My heart has been aching for the past several days. Between yesterday and today I must have checked her blog 10 to 15 times at least. The image of all those people waiting for the light to go off in Evita has come to mind frequently.

This evening, the news came that she had passed away earlier in the day. As soon as tears started to well up in my eyes, I calmed back down. What a relief for this wonderful and brave woman. And there must be some relief for her family, too, who have seen her through the last year or so of what must have been intense suffering. I am sad. I'm sad for Michelle and for her family and friends. I'm sad for me.

But I'm hoping that Michelle isn't really gone; I hope she's finding out what's on the other side. I hope that it is peaceful and pain free, filled with people who love her and have been waiting to welcome her. Her grandmother, for example. I can't buy into the Baptist version of heaven that I was raised with, in part because I can't believe that streets paved with gold and pearly gates are truly of any value beyond what we place on them here. Perhaps the John Whatshisname's version is the one she's found. In any case, hope Michelle is able visit her mother as requested.

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