Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resilience or Tensile Strength

So much has been made of our situation and how deeply sad it is, and it is, and yet there is more. There are moments when I wonder where the breaking point is, mine or Linda's or even Mark's. Someone actually asked us recently, "How close are you to breaking?" How do really answer that question? Having thought about it I realized that I might be closer than I care to admit but somehow I still find some strength somewhere.

In my boredom, yes this is boring, I was surfing u-tube and I found Shinzen Young, a buddhist teacher who said, "Suffering equals pain times resistance." I've been thinking about that ever since. True Mark's impending death is a painful reality, but that is only made worse by my resistance to it.

I think that what Shinzen calls mindful meditation, I call prayer. What he calls Buddha, I call Jesus. The point is, it is this kind of Spirit centred focus that gives my whole family the tensile strength to carry on. Each of us exercises that process in a slightly different way, but the resilience, perhaps demonstrated best by Marky, is seen in each of us.

For the many people who are praying for us, I hope they pray in a way that reveals what is, rather than resists what is. We can fight what's wrong, or search for what's right. I'm watching and waiting and seeing the good in all this. I'm seeing the good work of advocates and politicians, of nurses and doctors, of friends and neighbours.

This evening a man I've never met came to the house to visit, it was beautiful. He's from Rowanda. I think he might know about suffering. He was just so humble. He didn't bring answers or advice, just himself. He prayed quietly for all of us, and then he slipped me an envelope with a little cash in it. It was so beautiful, not because he gave, but because of his faith. He believes in what is, and is not distracted by what isn't.

I'm looking forward to what hope tomorrow brings.

1 comment:

justsaying... said...

I like your blog. My husband and I are also caregivers to a sick child. Have you read "When Bad Things Happen to Good People?". It is very well written, makes a lot of sense and is extremely comforting. I read it every few months.
Also highly recommemended are all of Gordon Livingston's books. He lost two sons within a year's time, one to suicide, the other to leukemia. I would start with "Only Spring" crafted from the journal he kept while his young son fought cancer. Also well written, one of the things I find most comforting is his common sense approach, his ability to see clearly without the touchy-feely advice and ministrations that are so abundant in the world of "self-help". He also maintains a healthy sense of humour, and I am in complete agreement with him that the ability to laugh is "one of the most effective antidotes to life's plentiful tragedies." Not sure if you have the time or inclination (or the energy for that matter) to delve into any of these books but just thought I'd let you know about them.
Wishing you and your wife some moments of peace. :)