Finding Faith Isn’t Always EasyPosted: October 29, 2008
OK, so here’s the thing.
I’m Catholic. Have been since day one. I’ve done my duty. Altar boy. Lector. Eucharistic minister. Heck, I’ve even been parish council president. I guess you’d think (at least I would) that some of my work would qualify me for a little clarity from the man upstairs. Well, if it does qualify me, let’s just say I haven’t seen any of the results yet.
I will be the first to tell you that I don’t agree with everything the Church stands for. However, part of the beauty (at least for me) of the Catholic Church is more than just the tradition. It’s also the mystery.
And, I’ve gotta tell you, finding faith has never been a problem for me. However, lately, it’s become more and more of a challenge. Like a serious challenge.
Well, quite frankly, you can blame cancer. I’m so done with cancer. I mean, seriously? What the hell is going on.
First, it was my Dad.
Then, Renee’s mentor and the mother of a friend of mine, Diane.
Then, a college friend, Janet.
It’s hard to find faith when one taken is your dad, another is someone your age that made you laugh incredibly and the third is an absolute mentor to your spouse and a role model for any woman.
I’m not trying to be selfish here. I mean, let’s face it. Cancer gets everyone. Nobody is immune.
But now, I struggle to find faith in light of the latest developments in my life. Consider:
The daughter of Renee’s colleagues. Yup, she teaches with a husband and wife team. They have a daughter who is six. And, oh by the way, she has cancer. One day, the daughter says, “Mommy, I’ve got this bump on my back.” Well, yeah. The bump? A four-pound tumor that has since been removed. However, this poor kid, who should be worrying about her Halloween costume and other six-year-old stuff, is now in the midst of some serious chemo. She’s been given a 75 to 80 percent chance of survival.
And, hey, cancer. Did i mention, she’s um, 6. Yeah, I thought so. You cowardly bastard.
Freaders, I ask you to find faith for this little girl. And her parents. They need it.
What, one isn’t enough? No worries, here’s another.
A colleague at my work. More than a colleague. This gentleman (and for him there is no better word) is the absolute heart and soul of where I work. He is our shining star. He is goodness. He is compassion. He is joy. He is friendship. He is teacher. He is everything you can imagine and one you can’t.
Why? He is sick. Very sick. Like the rarest form of liver cancer sick. Like possibly only six months sick. Seriously? He is a man without children who has the biggest extended family you could ever imagine. I shouldn’t think like this, but I actually think, wow, his is going to be the most incredible funeral I ever go to. Find the biggest church around. Still not big enough.
This one is going to hurt when it happens. And, let’s face it cancer, you’re going to make it happen. No matter how hard we try, you don’t let us find a cure. But we will. For the six-year-old’s sake and for his sake.
So, freaders, please find faith for the heart and soul. The shining star. He is a man of unwavering loyalty, courage and optimism. Your faith will be a welcome addition to his life.
So here I am, this far into this post. And I haven’t even talked about the one that is going to affect me the most.
He’s my cousin. He’s my godfather. He’s my mentor. He’s my role model. He’s, well, he’s my guy.
A question about anything? I go to my guy. Advice? I go to my guy. Heck, even Sox tickets. I go to my guy.
I have lost my father and my oldest brother, yet my guy is probably the man that has had the most impact on my life.
He hasn’t always been the healthiest man alive, but now this? Another one with a rare form of liver cancer. And this, the third case I’m talking about here, came within a month of the other two. So, yeah, that thing about stuff happening in threes? It’s apparently true.
And, oh, my guy? He only has two daughters…one just out of college, one just in. He has an amazing wife. A great house. A fabulous business. Season tickets to the Pats on the 50. Season tickets to the Sox. He’s lived a good life.
But nobody deserves to have that said — “he’s lived a good life” — when he’s 52.
And, yes, I should be optimistic (or at least a little). But forgive me for not being that way. This isn’t anyone. This is my guy. And I know my guy needs my faith. And he needs yours, too.
So, cancer, I ask you one question: what the fuck? I mean. Seriously. I. Don’t. Understand. I’m not even sure I want to understand.
But, you don’t make it easy to find faith. To find comfort. To find support. To find anything. And that’s why I hate you so much. Now more than ever. Because of the six-year-old. Because of the heart and soul. Because of my guy.
Because the thing about you, cancer, that I hate more than anything. When you took my dad, my friend and Renee’s mentor, you took a piece of me with you.
And with these three — your latest victims — I’m worried that if you take even more of me, that there won’t be a lot left.