On March 14th, I was hit by the news that one of my best friends from college was diagnosed with lymphoma. It literally knocked the wind out of me, so I can’t imagine what his mind is like at the moment. I crashed into one heck of a downward spiral for about 12 hours. The next day, I was able to keep moving for one simple reason… I had to.
It’s funny (as much as any of this can be thought of as funny)… I spoke with another friend of mine from high school who lost his mother last year. Each holiday that passes has a different feeling now — and he must learn how to move on without her, yet knowing she’ll always be a part of him. He is a devout Catholic and puts his faith in the Catholic/Christian faith.
I have been telling myself for years that I am agnostic, but have recently found a lot to like about the Buddhist path, which isn’t really a revelation. The human spirit is and has always been amazing to me. We as a race are capable of such acts of beauty and at the same time capable of such violence and vile acts that it takes my breath away. Does love conquer all? I honestly don’t know. But a healthy respect for life and the thoughts and beliefs of others helps to get us through the world.
But even with such a philosophy, I have to wonder at why the world works the way it does. My friend with cancer is not a bad man. He’s had bad luck and good luck like all of us. He doesn’t deserve cancer. Nobody does. Even those we might think of as “bad” or “evil” don’t deserve cancer.
So with this thought, I’ve been struggling forward. Life is complicated. I have a wife and kids, a job, friends and family — I am rich in those respects (and poor in others, but money doesn’t solve the world’s ills — just ask Bill Gates). But through it all, I have to think that we will find a way. My friend is strong of spirit and if it’s at all physically possible, he will survive this latest trial. And that which we survive makes us and those around us stronger.
It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. I will support him in his time of need, even though he’s a distance away in California. He knows I’m here, wishing him the best. We’ll hope it’s enough to change the fabric of space and time so his doctors can work the miracles we are all hoping for.
Miracles need not be religious — they only need be faith-based. I have faith that science will one day solve the riddle of cancer and than mankind will beat it. And I have faith that my friend will survive this. May we all have such faith to help us carry on.
Thanks for listening.