Sunday, March 24, 2013

Words and the weight they carry

I've been thinking.  I know, I know. Watch out!  Run while you can!
I posted earlier about the fact that yesterday marked 6 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I also posted it on Facebook and mentioned a few friends that had died from the same damn disease.  

I only typed their first names initially:  Patty, Marilyn and Jackie.  Then I realized that some people might think I meant Jackie McIntire, who was nearing the end of her life but still with us, and not Jackie Webber who died some years ago so I went back in and typed the last names.  Little did I know that Jackie McIntire did, indeed, die yesterday. 

Both Jackies were amazing women and were role models to many.

I got the news this morning about Jackie's death.  I cried and made a few phone calls.  It's frustrating to be so far away when something like this happens.  Sending condolences via the internet falls short of exactly how I feel about her death.

Then I started thinking about words.  Words like "blessed" and "luck."  Both are meaningless to me.  As a non-religious person "blessed" is hollow.  "Luck" doesn't even ring true when you're shooting craps for me.  Not that I shoot craps, but you know what I mean.  I don't argue with people when they use those words.  Those are just words.

However my inner conversation goes something like this:  so if I'm blessed to have 6 years, does that mean that Jackie wasn't blessed?  She who was a much nicer person?  She certainly deserved to be blessed.  Was it just plain bad luck that she got cancer and died so young?  Or was it . . . . just life and what goes along with it?

I'm sure plenty of people use "blessed" that aren't religious; it's just a word people use without giving it much thought.  Same goes for "luck."  

I'm sitting down here in Florida feeling the sun on my face and the breeze blowing my hair all around like a white tornado.  Am I lucky?  Am I blessed?  No.  I'm just here.  Thinking of Jackie and how happy I am to have shared space and time with her over the past 50 or so years.    

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