On life and living

I just found out someone I know has an inoperable brain tumor. We’re not close, but he is the cousin of a close friend, and so, through her, he’s been in my life for many years. In this way he has constituted a part of my world. And now he has a tumor on his brain stem and they can’t take it out.

Two days ago I also found out the father of one of Al’s close friends has lymphoma. The family has been keeping under the radar for months, withdrawing from contact with acquaintances (like my parents) or withholding the news from friends (like Al, who didn’t know despite communicating regularly with her friend). The father is the sole breadwinner for the family, and their elder son has just started his first year at U Penn.

A thirtysomething female acquaintance is ten weeks pregnant with her first child.

Our existence in the world is so fragile and so changeable. Not original words, these, but they always seem so each time we have cause to realize them. Most of the time we just move through our lives so thoughtlessly, never remembering that in all the moments that we live and breathe we tread a hair-fine line between being and not being, between being easily and without thinking, and being painfully and just barely. The utter slimness of the thread that holds the balance is staggering.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com. What’s amazing is as I write this, in 2014, both individuals mentioned in this post (with the tumor and the lymphoma) are still living.]


6 responses to “On life and living

  1. aye, agreed.
    it was a pretty shattering week this week…but at the same time, absolutely nothing surprising. I walk a thin line between adoration and utter depression over the wonders of life.

    • I know, I read your entry too. All my love and sympathy to you and your family, especially your dear mommy! I understand what you mean about life. For me, the line is between exhilaration and terror.

      • I wonder if I would manage any better if that were true for me. It’s true that terror sucks, but I tend to be a “live, let live, and not much you can do about it” person, so I think I could deal with terror. Depression on the other hand……there is no answer to “everything about life………sucks.” :/

        • Very true. I definitely have days like that, and I’ll say that to Erik and he doesn’t know how to respond, because there really is no answer. I still haven’t figured out the formula that gets me out of it, though I know there are things that do. In the meantime those days are usually just wasted on Minesweeper and Sudoku. ;b


    • Thank you. It’s an especially hard piece of news to take in because I never think these things can happen to people my age, and he’s even younger than I am. Obviously his family members are having an even harder time with this.

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