Friday, May 18, 2012

to jared (feb 2011)

this is a response to a fb message from one of bec's many on-line relationships. altho they never met in person,  this guy and bec shared something special and this was a mostly positive email. 


yo. you just popped up on my newsfeed, and it made me realize i never replied to a really gorgeous and genuine email you sent me a while back.

And while I was (and for the most part, still very much am) in a strange, mostly NOT good state of mind, I do want you to know that for whatever reason (b/c in all honesty, I suppose there's not a whole helluva lot of depth to our relationship. hehehe, its always just been an online amicable mutually respectful one). But for whatever reason, your comments always mean a ton to me.
you have a way of coming off as one of the most absolute genuine people i know (and as i just said, i don't truly "know" you. hehehe, i've never even actually heard your voice!)
And while I don't want to answer your previous email in too much detail, b/c again, I was in a much much MUCH worse state back then, it's somewhat improved these days in terms with just getting by day to day. but I'm still nowhere near the "me" i was. And for the most part, I've learned that the only way I am capable of getting by day to day, is to almost ignore all of the horrendous unspeakably unfair and scary crap that has and is happening to me.
but you included a portion of a poem that somehow slipped past the fortress of fear and sheer depression that had dropped itself around me at that moment, and while i can't say "it saved me!" it did for a moment, give me a momentary glance back at the fact that i'm human. and despite my anger at the world, and how much i hate this disease, the fact that i and so so so many others have to suffer in such ways. I had spun myself down into the deepest hole i've been in during the entire five (yes, can you believe, its been FIVE years as of feb. 23 that i was first diagnosed) years. I could have been that deep numerous times before but I had a really good ability to always find a way to not slip that far. Most of the time the thing I would do is simply take every and any chance to appreciate something. everyone always says things like "always appreciate the little things in life" and most of them say it with emptiness, never truly having knowledge of HOW to actually do this. But I felt I had achieved just that. sometimes I would wake up and before even opening my eyes i would be still and feel the sunlight streaming through the window on my face, I would try to be conscious of every bone/muscle/tendon in my body and think to myself "right at this very moment, i'm relaxed, warm, rested, there's no aches, pains, cramps." (i did this ALOT after my surgery when i was recovering, since i thought learning to appreciate those times would help me heal faster). but I started to do that all the time, to all types of things. I would go to starbucks, have a nice little exchange w/ the barista dude, the drink would be especially tasty, and I would walk out to the neighborhood I worked in and look around to realize i love the neighborhood, and i love my job, and the drink was awesome, and people are good, etc etc.
I was never able to be classified as "perky"or "upbeat", so its not that these thoughts permeated me and translated into me being saccharine sweet. I just felt this was one method that helped me stay sane when life also took a liking to punching me in the face repeatedly with unfairness. i was never a particularly religious person.  I know many who go through life-altering things such as cancer or other disease, that somehow do end up turning to religion of some sort. Not only did I not do this, but things that have happened in my life only serve to distance me even more from the idea of god in any of the various manifestations he is presented as. I can't justify anything by any of the religions i know about. if anything, I only get more angry if I do think about the role of god. But I do believe in humanity. and your unexpected, sincere email and poem gave me that momentary glance back into what i do believe which is (in convenient bullet points for dramatic effect):
I AM human.
Humanity is a sumptuous thing
I'VE been lucky enough to have experienced it on many levels in its full grandeur BECAUSE of disease.
Most people will probably never know the full extent of it.

So, from the bottom of whatever is left of my heart, Thank you. :)
(oh, this isn't quite an email  that  says, "so even tho i still have cancer, I am rejuvinated back to the more hopeful person I was prior and am gonna fight like hell". So, no worries on that end. Its simply that those were things your email made me think of, and i feel bad i never shared that back with you. Most days I still do feel VERY un-human. And chronically refer to myself as "NOT normal". Which i whole-heartedly believe, and need noone to try and convince me otherwise. it is what it is. BUT, for a tiny moment, your email reminded me of something. And i liked that something.)

(here is the poem. I e'd the guy who sent this to bec. needed to read what gave her that  peaceful feeling.--mom)
     
                   Summer Day


Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

                                  mary oliver

5 comments:

  1. I miss you so much! . . . your parting has left me with a HUGE void in my heart and though we never met in person, you were such a big part of my life. I love you so much Bec . . . and miss you in ways that I can't even begin to understand. I am so fucken pissed at life, I am angry, hurt and sad . . . and I complaint to God quite a lot. Why you? Why you? I cannot answer that . . . Heck! I even understand it . . . all I know is you're not here . . . all I feel is the pain your departure left me with . . . and all that gives me hope is your undeniably amazing spirit . . . the fighter in you . . . the inspiration your life was to many of us and the words you left me with. I want you to know that you meant HELLA much to me and even in death, you still continue to inspire me, to support me . . . to give me hope!. I freaking love ya, girl!

    Ani Eos.-

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  2. Thank you for posting this entry. I have read it at least 10 times since it's been up. That poem... there are no words.

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  3. I just saw this years later and it means as much to me now as it did then. I miss her dearly. We had many funny and loving exchanges before and after this but this stands out among them. I love you Becca, always.

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  4. And here is the actual email I sent... because it belongs to everyone now.

    "Honey, I'm at a loss for words.
    The choices you have in front of you are literally unimaginable to me.
    You are a force to be reckoned with, but so is Cancer and I know how long this battle has been and how tired you must be.
    Most of me wants to scream 'Fight on!!' at the top of my lungs- but I also know that a bearable quality of life is something we all have to determine for ourselves at some point in our lives...
    it makes me want to sob out of sheer desperation.
    I believe in miracles. I have seen them happen- shit, you already ARE a miracle. But I also had a dear dear friend Max ( who I think I told you about ) who lost his battle with Cancer. His fight was brief because it was so advanced but at the end he stopped fighting and was able to gain a little weight and a little of his spirit back enough to have a goodbye party at his house. It was beautiful, horrible and wonderful and he amused us all with his humor and energy. That was his choice- there were a few options left on the table but he left them there.
    I don't think there's a more personal decision in the world than what you're going through and though I would do ANYTHING to know you were in the world for another year, month, day- you will end up doing what's best for you and I support you one hundred percent.
    I love you Becca Babcock- you are incredible and if I'd known all those years ago how much of an impact that little 'cynnycal' on capoeira.com was going to have on me and so many others, I would have jumped on a plane right then and there. I will start saving today for a plane ticket.
    Keep in touch ok?
    love jared

    Here's a piece by my favorite poet- Mary Oliver

    The Summer Day

    Who made the world?
    Who made the swan, and the black bear?
    Who made the grasshopper?
    This grasshopper, I mean--
    the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
    the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
    who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
    who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
    Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
    Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
    I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
    I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
    into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
    how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
    which is what I have been doing all day.
    Tell me, what else should I have done?
    Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
    Tell me, what is is you plan to do
    With your one wild and precious life?


    Mary Oliver

    ReplyDelete
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