Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

Life can end so quickly. Everything one does, everything one plans or dreams of can be gone in an instant. So what is life about?
In the end everything we have done and accomplished is meaning less. Material possessions are nice ego boosters and money can buy you the Rolls Royce of health care, but in the end it doesn't matter if you are Bill Gates or a homeless person we are all going to die one day. So if we understand that we are mortal and that tomorrow is not a guarantee why do we push the ones we love out of our lives?
Last month my aunt passed away of lung cancer. She had walked into the hospital twelve days prior because she was having problems breathing. She was unaware that she was sick at all. I have watched all my grandparents, aunts and uncles die from lung cancer as well. Which perhaps is the reason why I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. Her two daughters who are eighteen and twenty seven years old and my mother survived her.
The reason I mention my aunt is because my mother and her had a falling out a few years back and prior to her entering the hospital they were barely speaking. The last time they saw each other in person was four years prior. The last time I saw her was eight years before when my grandmother was dying of the same disease.
It was discovered shortly after entering the hospital that the cancer was already in the final stage and had spread to her brain. The next week my mother and I flew to Arizona. By this point she had already been transferred to hospice, which is essentially the Roche motel.
In many ways I would have preferred not to have seen her then. The person I remember wasn't the person lying in that bed. We missed seeing her awake by hours. We sat in the room with her that day, but by then she was in a coma and she never woke up. She didn't want any heroic measures taken to prolong her life. At four am the next morning she passed away. She was fifty-three.
Sometimes the answer we know is the one we can't bare to admit. We often take life for guaranteed. We assume that the people we love will be around forever. We stop talking to family members over petty arguments. Yet it's once they are gone that we realize how stupid we were and wish we had made peace with the past. But, there is no time machine. Our actions today can change for the better or hinder forever the future.
In regards to romantic relationships, it seems that we fight more with the people who aren't right for us, we want those who are spoken for and the ones who show interest in us we wonder what's wrong with them. Who our family is and what our family values are unfortunately often times come into question in regards to whom we should date or marry. Often we choose our partners to annoy our families. While other times we marry a person because they will be a good asset to the family legacy. But, when you find "the one" it shouldn't matter what religion they believe in, what their income is or how crazy their family is.

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