It's not that we don't care. It's that we care too much.
You think that when our people don't cry after seeing images on their television screen or hearing about terrorist attacks or knowing that someone is sick, it's because they can't feel? That's not so. It's because we can feel and we feel deeply and we're trying to protect ourselves from being hurt and feeling helpless. So we remove ourselves from that image on the screen or those people in the story, we put them down to Other People whom we do not need to think about.
Except, we know that there are no Other People.
And at night, God, when I'm alone and there's no one else here to see, that, God, is when I care and it presses on me and I wish there was something, anything I could do but feel totally helpless.
I don't believe that normal people are ever really truly desensitized. It's a protection, a covering, but it can be stripped away and then, oh then you feel and it hurts, God, and that is why we usually don't go there, don't allow ourselves there. Except you seem to have made it so that I can't control it and when I begin to think then it all comes in a wave and hits me and then I cannot stop it; I simply have to let it be.
All I can do is sit here and read about how this beautiful girl is slowly being destroyed- her body at least, never her spirit. I read about the fact that she has an excruciatingly painful bloodclot in her lungs. I read about her pressure wounds which seem to get worse despite the doctor's treatment. I read about the fact that they've already tried four different types of treatment and the tumor hasn't responded to any of them. She's dosed up on pain meds, but that means that she's not alert and can't eat, and she needs to eat for other parts of her body to heal. She can't move the whole left side of her body. She's on oxygen and when they take her off of oxygen, her levels fall very quickly. Everything interferes with everything else; she's on pain medicine but they can't give her too much because it will interfere with her breathing. She's on steroids which makes her skin fragile so that she has pressure sores. All this and she's what, twenty or so?
But you know that, God, because you're doing it to her.
And for that I am angry, angry with you, God, or at least I was, but that has been replaced now, replaced by sorrow, a weary, weary sorrow where it's not worth it to be angry with you, not right now. Perhaps later, God, when I have time.
But for now...I am overwhelmed by this feeling of absolute gratitude...I'm grateful to be able to get out of bed in the morning, to walk, to dance in the rain, to sing, to breathe. Grateful to have the opportunity to go to school and take tests and have friends. Grateful for life, grateful for the life that I usually take for granted. And at the same time I wonder- why be grateful to you when you could take it all away in an instant, when you have done this to her? But even so I am grateful for your world and my life because in the end I love you, God, and it is not so much that I am angry at you as hurt by you when you hurt other people.
I know you never made any promises, but isn't it a little misleading to let someone grow up so healthy and naturally well and then take it all away? But then I think and realize that at least she did have that time; I wouldn't want someone to be born sick, either. So I think out loud.
But is it really necessary, God? After Aviva and Tanielle, now this, and again to someone so young, someone near my age?
I am grateful to be healthy and alive, grateful for my friends, grateful for my mind, grateful even to sit here and type this and write this to people who will read it and care. I am grateful to have been born with the full use of my physical and mental faculties. I am grateful. You know I am; you can read my thoughts.
I am also bewildered and hurt and upset and frustrated, so frustrated, by my inability to do anything useful. So all I can do is pray, and you know that the only way for me to pray is through my words, not in a conventional manner. So here is my prayer, God.
Please don't hurt her anymore.
Please let her be well.