The message is: life is for living. It might turn out different from what I had imagined. It might have aspects that are difficult, challenging, unjust, even cruel. But it also offers me incredible beauty, enduring friendship, deep humanity, and love.
The best way to live it is to persevere, to ‘keep the eye on the ball’, to keep a sense of wonder and amazement, to love. To get into ‘good trouble’.
Life is not for checking out.
Some things on the telly used to bring tears to my father’s eyes. A sentimental movie, a report on history, or the Pope giving a sermon. While I saw the point (sometimes), I thought he was a bit overreacting. Looking back, and only now I start to understand, his life must have been packed with trauma. He was 19 when WWII started. The lead up to that war, the war itself, and its aftermath shaped what should have been the best years of his life.
This past week, we watched some of John Lewis’ funeral. I don’t know that much about John Lewis. But what I heard about him moved me to tears. He was 20 years old when he first got into ‘good trouble’. Just before he died he apparently talked to some young people and told them that he was very hopeful for the future because of their perseverance, their good fight, their love.
Maybe this was just a demonstration of how well the US do funerals. But for me, this was a demonstration, a recall of values, that I always admired them for. You do what you believe in, and you don’t harm others while doing it.
We went to a doctor to get Pádraig tested ahead of his hospital admission. A poster on her wall hinted at how she sees hospital discharges into the community. It made me think of Pádraig’s discharge. There was no plan for his rehab. I still had to smile.
We are doing well and we are doing the right thing. Pádraig is enjoying the good days. While we are very busy, while I am tired and feel exhausted, we are spending all this time together. Tomorrow week, we’ll be going on another nearly 1,000 km road trip down South to Munich. Following a relatively small procedure and a few days in hospital, Pádraig will be able again to put weight on his right leg, all going well.
We have a plan and it’s the best plan we could come up with. Now we’ll have to keep the eye on the ball.