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July 1st, How One Views the World...


July 1st, How One Views the World...

 I believe it was Albert Einstein who said something to the effect of, ‘If you view the world as an unruly, unkind place. Then… that is what it is…for you…’

 I said to my husband after his fatal diagnosis at end of 2019:

"You're just too gosh darn innocent. And there's just nothing right with that." It was as if to say, ‘You? Of all people.  You’re just too innocent. Just too wet-behind the ears in this world, to have been given this diagnosis. It should have been me, not you.’ On Christmas morning 2019, I did say that to him, privately.

 Moving forward, I knew I had to accept this seemingly unpleasant dilemma. As usual, I pondered. I wondered. I knew the answer would arrive sooner rather than later. 

 Years earlier, Thursday, June 30th, 2011. I know the date oh so well. Reason being, that a miracle occurred on Friday, July 1st, 2011. Every time I mention that, I get a chill. Or something presents itself of an unknown nature. Although I do know who and what it is. It still fascinates me. As it is said, “You get more done with enthusiasm; then with desperation.”

 Over the years, my husband and I were cajoled by some of his college buddies, who wondered how we stayed together. He the Hippie, understanding having. Yet being giving. Me the Marine knowing not having. Yet grateful and giving as well. He the romantic. Me the fighter. He did announce that in the summer of 2008, before I became a fighter. It was just as I had started ‘hard-core’ self-defense lessons. It was as if, after twenty-four years of marriage he’d just discovered the dichotomy of who we were.

 And a few years before, after over twenty years of marriage, he began to understand that I prayed on a regular basis.  Funny, it scared him, and it fascinated him all at once upon his discovery. And to the point I learned that not everyone prayed. Too, not everyone knew how to pray. I had assumed that everyone just prayed in their own private way. That anything divine was always happening around us, and we just had to pay attention.  That anyone of us could tap into this Supreme, Divine source. We could think it, speak it, observe it and so forth. Then be grateful for whatever, in our own private fashion.

 So came the day June 30th, 2011, a woman who lived down our block was heard speaking to my husband that morning. I overheard the conversation from my kitchen, which was about her husband. He was deathly ill and was told he would not be around for his daughter’s wedding in October, or much past then. He would be gone before the end of the year.

 I came out ready to start my morning run before training and work. I greeted her. I told her that I just overheard the news.  I felt absolutely crushed. It was not because I knew them all that well, because I didn’t. It was, that I saw them as regular people. Middle-class people, both who worked while raising children. They weren’t flashy. Did their own landscaping. A bit of a throw back to the 1960s middle class family. Similar to the first neighborhood, a working class town I lived in as a child of the 1960s.

 So, it was through sentiment that I felt their sorrow. After I hugged her and said, “I’ll say a prayer.”  Off I ran and praying so. My cellphone sat in my posterior bra pocket as I ran praying. Asking, ‘What else can I do?’ To a higher source I queried.

 Three-quarters of a mile into my fifteen mile run, I stopped my watch and pulled out my phone. Hitting buttons I dialed a priest I knew, and left him a message with a name to pray for.  Then I dialed a Eucharistic Minister I knew. I got her on the phone. She said, “I’ll light a candle for him today. And tomorrow morning I’ll be at your office and we will pray together for him.  By the way, tomorrow is the most healing day of the year in the Catholic religion.”

 The next morning after of couple clients left, the minister walked in. She said, “You ready?” I nodded. We bowed our heads, held hands, and prayed. I pictured a spirit healing the man. I asked to make certain he lived long enough to become a grandfather from his daughter who was to be married now two months earlier than planned.

 Three weeks later I saw the man’s wife out walking. I stopped her for a second and asked, “How’s your husband?”  She replied, “Well, they did a scan a week ago and we just found out that eighty percent of the tumors have disappeared. The doctors couldn’t explain it.” I smiled, “Wow. Keep me posted. That’s really good news. Right?” She nodded cautiously.

 Months passed. I saw him briefly step into his home, it was early October 2011.  Then October 31st, 2012, I took our youngest daughter and her friend Halloweening. They wanted to walk down the block ‘trick or treating’. We got to the home of man who was quite ill over a year before.  He answered the door. I stood back and the two girls called out, “Trick or Treat”.  He put some candy into their bags. I smiled and said “Hi”, from a distance.  We went to the next house.

 Year after year I saw the dead man walking. Oh, he wasn’t dead. Far from it. Two years passed, now it was 2014. As I was about to exit my home, I saw his wife walking by our house. I asked, “Hey. How’s your husband?”  She replied, “He’s okay. You know.” I replied, back, “Just to let you know. The day I told you I’d pray for him. Well, I did. And I privately asked a couple others to pray, and they did too. I think it’s a miracle he’s alive.” She seemed to stare at me, dumbfounded. I could not construe what it was she was thinking.

 Every once in a while, I wondered. I wondered to know if they felt the joy I felt for them, for their miracle. For me, it was uplifting. Soon, I began to see him out walking with her. Then they became grandparents. Too, both children were out of the house. I’d seen the son I asked him, “How’s it going?”  He responded smiling, “Good.” I continued on my run that day.

Then came November 23rd, 2019. The day of my husband’s first diagnosis of being terminal.  There was no cure. There was only prayer, with our steering to gain quality and to perhaps lengthen his life via nutrition and proper activity. As well, keeping the stress levels low.  Which those of us with children. Especially when raising teenagers, may be able to attest to the stresses that are posed with raising teenagers wanting independence.

 After my husband’s diagnosis, COVID-19 arrived in the U.S. and then the shut down ‘round the globe began. The couple from down the block, now aging into their seventies. I saw they were more regularly out walking. He with a mask on in the early stages of the shut down. I’d asked once, how they were. They seemed okay.

 I knew I would lose my husband. I had accepted it on November 23rd, 2019. Yes, I prayed regardless of knowing the outcome. In my prayer, it was ‘Let me be there for them and do right by the family.  Let me be available to the needs, to reduce the suffering’. Trust me, we had a ton of people praying from all religions. But I knew, my husband would not be spared. I accepted it.

 After his passing July 19th, 2020. Which he lasted longer than expected. And had the quality life doctors never held for him. He had next to no pain in end. He didn’t get sick, ever. He ran an additional fourteen weeks, that the allopathic doctors couldn’t imagine. Things they predicted, he denied them. He denied them from a higher source. He began to realize that prayer was essential. He knew it before. Yet, this experience brought it to the forefront of his existence.

 Now onto my meaning of this piece. There are a few things I do not like. One is when a miracle is staring someone right in the face. Too, they benefitted from it. They deny the existence of the miracle. To me, that is bashing nature at its best. That is the problem in our society. I call someone like that, the ‘anti-miracle worker’. I consider that attitude to be severely destructive to humanity. Too, those people have paradigm paralysis. Most likely they will not venture out to seek any other kind of medicine, including self-help with eating correctly or activity. They’ll comment, “See even you that’s eating healthy can die of…” Whatever they may imply along those lines.

 What those that say that are missing. Is that there will some recompense in this current world and or perhaps the unknown hereafter for them. It’s not about eating and exercising to live longer here, now. It’s about taking care of the gift we have of the vessel we are born into. It doesn’t matter how many confessionals a murderer does. Or how many cookies a pre-diabetic person eats and then feels guilty, only to go back and do it again.

 It’s about the discipline to not make excuses as to why you have become self-hating, self-destructive, bigoted, murderous and so forth. Adding, to have the inquisitiveness to prevent the obsolescence of the damnation of paradigm paralysis.

 So, you see it’s not about religion. It’s about hope. It’s about caring. It’s about appreciating nature and nurturing. Being a nurturing society is what cures most of what ails.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


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