I hope Mom will forgive me for publishing this. It’s something I felt worth saying, yet I knew her words communicated the truth far better than I could…
I intend to visit the family farm this weekend. It’s the first opportunity I’ve had in months given my hectic work schedule (every other weekend on call and every week with a full plate).
After sending her an e-mail saying as much and asking how she and Dad were doing, this is the reply I received:
C’mon….we will be delighted to see you. Things are going here. Your father is sick just about every day. […] He would have to have lots of tests to determine the cause and he doesn’t want to go there. I figure if things get bad enough he will give in, but he’s been so physically miserable for so long he really doesn’t relish more medical treatments to prolong his agony. Can’t say I blame him. When I look into his haunted pain filled eyes I can’t blame him at all.
We just went through the whole tumor saga. For years prior to that, he’s been on medications galore to treat all sorts of ailments: chronic acute cellulitis in the legs that can kill him if released into the bloodstream, blood pressure and clot issues, and a menagerie of other problems.
Truth be told, I’m with Mom on this one. I sincerely and unequivocally trust in one absolute adage in such cases: Quality is far more important than quantity.
If my life is to be measured, let it be measured by joy, by love, by value, by worth. Don’t let it be measured by the number of years I lived.
Should I suffer a decade of painful, degrading, inhumane survival that scarcely deserves the name ‘living’ or should I enjoy a year or two of memorable, blessed, wonderful moments wherein I can truly be called alive?