On Being Sick

I have been ill for a full week now, and I’m amazed at how much it’s affected my ability to be present, productive, and hehe, pretty 😛 It makes me really admire my friends and family members who live with chronic pain, practicing daily pain management. One girlfriend of mine, MKM, is a young woman who has suffered from chronic migraines for a while now, and she is truly one of the most pure souls I have ever met. Pain, like fire, tends to purify and reveal what’s hitherto been hidden underneath, doesn’t it?

My father suffered from chronic migraines and cluster headaches for over seven years before passing away last May. I never knew how much patience and grace he was showing us (and himself) until I had a 48 hour bout of constant tension headaches myself, just last week. That first night, I could not sleep or lay down for longer than an hour because the pain was too much for me, even with painkillers (of which I tried 4 kinds in a 24 hour period: ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen). I then went to the bathroom and just sat on the toilet, buried my throbbing head in my hands, and simply moaned and cried for about two or three hours, grieving my father, realizing how much misery he endured, and how little empathy and compassion my family and I showed him… 

It hurt so much to be in pain and alone, and it hurt me incredibly to realize how lonely and misunderstood my father was in his pain, even when we were at home with him… 

And when I couldn’t cry anymore (a point I reached when I realized that the crying was doubling and intensifying my headache pains), I sat on my bed, my head resting against the cool of the wall, and I moaned myself to something akin to a fatigued stupor, and eventually fell asleep.

I hate being sick, so so much (to the point where I dress like it’s winter, even on cool spring nights), but I am learning to be thankful for its ability to bring to the surface the ugly, broken, but somehow-still-loved-by-God things deep inside of me so I can more clearly and honestly see the icky parts of me that complete the whole picture of who I am. Being sick and suffering a little temporarily presents an opportunity for me to empathize with those who suffer from chronic and incurable conditions, and to appreciate the fortitude and courage they show the world on a daily basis. 

So, it sucks to be sick, but since there is much to learn from it, I am thankful and learning to be sort of glad…

… especially since I have a real hope of getting better, very soon.

**I’m out of town, visiting Seattle 6/12-18 for an old but very dear girlfriend’s wedding this Saturday!** 

 

Good to know:

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Death…

…it causes us to reflect more deeply on life, strangely enough.

I was reading an obituary of a lovely young 25-year old Bollywood actress and noted how the obituary and news articles would end with “…and she was an ambassador for PETA.” It made me think, “It’s so sad that she died so young, just when her career was beginning to take off… boy, besides being a beautiful and intelligent actress, she must have cared a lot about animals, too.”

Witnessing someone else’s death makes us think about and look, long and hard, at our own lives, doesn’t it? We see how a person’s life and legacy is somehow summarized and neatly wrapped up in a paragraph, a service, a news article, or an obituary… and it makes most of us wonder, “What will be my life’s legacy?”

I don’t know what my life will leave behind, but I hope to at least contribute to the world (aka my family and my communities) a few good stories and a life that was committing to loving fully and well, in an attempt to follow and obey Jesus as best as a gal in my situation can. That’s really it, actually, I just want to love my God and love my neighbor well…

And…if they need to add a last line that acts as a unique identifier, well then… I suppose I wouldn’t mind if my obituary read something like, “And she really loved to eat, too, especially noodles and ice cream. But not together.”

😛

Just kidding.

I think I’d want to be known for not being afraid… to love, to cry, to feel, to dance, to dream, to sing, to speak, to ask, to try, to try to fly, to fail, and to keep trying to do all of the things stated above again and again and again 🙂 But mostly not being afraid to be known, to be loved, and to love.

A quote about death I like:

"To die will be an awfully big adventure." - J.M. BARRIE, Peter Pan

It's wonderful to know that as God's kid, I don't have to be afraid to pass into the next life, the one that lasts forever and ever, with Him!

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