Sunday, January 11, 2009

Life Before Death II

I went to see my brother yesterday. He lives about an hour and a half away. I had not actually visited him since my sister died 3 years ago.

My middle daughter was with me and we had a nice visit with my brother, his wife and various other family members.

My bro is so kind hearted that even when he has not worked in a year and has only minimal income, his house is open to the family bums. He has two 30 something nephews living with him...not working...not contributing to the troubled household but selfishly mooching off a dying man. I asked him why; he really had no answer. I didn't pursue it as it seemed rather pointless but it makes me wonder.

I can't say my brother looked well; he didn't. He is 6'3'' and he now weighs 148 lbs. He says he will lose more weight if he decides to continue with radiation and chemo. I don't think he wants to go through it again. He seems to be ready to end all this pain and suffering. But even with all the pain, he was upbeat. He said his affairs are in order and he has taken care of things so his wife can go on living in their home. My sister-in-law said she isn't worried because she knows god will take care of her.

How am I? I don't know. I question my feelings everyday. I love my brother but the fact that he is dying has not shattered my life. It makes me wonder about my own health, since I am older than all but one of my siblings who have died. It makes me think about our growing up years..not all happy times, but we have not been close for a long time.

Am I cold-hearted? I hope not.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Call to Arms

I am usually a happy person. Fairly satisfied with my financial station in life, I contribute to causes with which I concur. But today something has upset my satisfaction. I wish to have the resources of Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey. Not to indulge myself in bobbles and bling but to finance a real defense of science. Here, is what got me going. And this.

It has already been said, better than I can but this is a cause I completely support.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Life Before Death

I just learned that the last of my three brothers is dying. He, like the other two, has cancer. It has metastasized and spread throughout his body. He is only 54. It is sad that his life is shortened but I, like him, have accepted the fact. There is nothing more to do.

Death is not new to me as I have experienced it many times in my life. I was the second born to a family of 8 children. Now our parents are gone and we are down to 4, soon to be three. But this post is not to elicit pity but to discuss the way we handle death.

My oldest daughter, a born again christian, learned of her uncle's illness and went hysterical. Really. She became so distraught she could not function. Why?

I really don't understand. She nor any of my children are close to my siblings; neither am I. We call once in a while, usually when someone is dying, but we rarely see each other. It has been that way for most of my life. I left home at 15 and never really went back.

Okay, so what does this have to do with anything?

Here goes...I am an atheist...I don't believe in an afterlife. When your dead your dead. My daughter is a self proclaimed born again christian. See where I'm going with this? I know there is nothing after death and I'm calm and accepting of the inevitable. My daughter, on the other hand, who believes that her uncle is going "to a better place" to be with Jesus, is unable to accept his death. She is praying non-stop. Why? It makes no sense to me.