for a Dr. N.I., in memoriam.

I took below quotes – my personal favorites – from the social media page of someone who must be, I believe, grieving and in deep pain right now. I cannot pretend to know or understand – I do not, at all – but I prayed for him two nights ago when I found out the news and tonight, again, I am extending a prayer to a stranger.

On Instagram, I have actually unfollowed him – them – for nearly a year now because I’d eventually grown wary and weary over their seemingly nonstop public displays of affection and his somewhat so-fame-caught-to-you-huh pretentious vibes since ‘hitting it big’ on Instagram.

Then two days or so ago, I came across – made viral, of course – his Facebook posting about her, which is hardly out of the ordinary …except for his usage of past tense in describing her. I clicked, my breath stuck in my throat. Don’t tell me… I mused to myself. But alas, God knows best; from Him we are created and to Him we return.

I guess somehow it just never occurred to me it would be so soon.

Theirs is a story straight out of Spark’s A Walk to Remember, down to the ending – except she was the doctor. From this similarity alone – an almost ironic, uncanny twist given his love for words and books – his loss feels almost personal.

Today, discussing their story with my colleague-friend, she asked, “Would you do what he did?”

“What do you mean?”

“Would you marry as he did?”

A stage four cancer patient, she meant.

“I would,” I replied immediately. “I mean, honestly, I probably wouldn’t know until or unless this really happens to me – but off the top of my head now, I would. Because what I have always fallen for are characters; personalities.” Hearing my words, she merely nodded her head, so I continued, “In this way I agree with him – he once wrote about this, why he chose to marry her despite knowing the end is perhaps nearer than usual for them versus other couples, because of course there are inconsiderate friends asking, ‘but why?'”

“What did he write?”

“He said, he fell in love with her personality; she as a person. But besides that – even a stage four cancer patient deserves to experience love, and to be loved. I completely agree.”

We stood facing each other for long seconds, saying no more.

.

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“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view. When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn’t matter whether it’s been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades. The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn’t see before. It’s never too late to take a moment to look.”
— Sharon Salzberg

“See, sometimes courage isn’t climbing Mount Everest or changing the world.
Sometimes your mountain to climb is made up of weekdays and months, made up of pushing yourself forward even when you want to nestle into the past.

Sometimes changing the world means changing your world, as gradually as you need to, as gently as you heal, because sometimes courage isn’t made up of war, and bloodshed; sometimes courage isn’t made of combat.

Sometimes courage is a quiet fight, a dim softness within you, that flickers even on your darkest days, and reminds you that you are strong, that you are growing — that there is hope.”
— Bianca Sparacino

“When you remain in your own authentic rhythm, you can exist and thrive as both a strong and tender thing simultaneously. Like plants. Or poetry. Or breath, moving through your body.”
— Victoria Erickson

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