I recently received an e-mail from someone who felt the need to give me some unsolicited advice. The gist of the message was that I needed to be careful with the wishes I make and the words I say. The reasoning behind it, of course, is the old saying that goes, “Be careful what you wish for. It may come true.”
My father used to tell me that when I was a child. I would wish for something frivolous or silly or, in some cases, spiteful. He would look at me with serious eyes and say, “Be careful what you wish for, Becky. You never know when a wish will be granted.”
As of late, the majority of my wishes have been for my own demise. Life has been incredibly painful–both physically and emotionally. I would challenge anyone who would claim that, in a tremendously painful time, the thought of death as an escape didn’t cross their mind. It is why assisted suicide for terminally ill patients is on the rise in this country. It is why suicide ranks near the top of the list as a cause of death across all age groups. Pain, whether it be physical from an illness or emotional from a life that throws punch after punch with no relief, has the power to cause one to not want to take another breath. I have certainly played out such scenarios in my mind. That’s all I am going to say about that. Most often, though, my thoughts tend to go to an extended period of pain relief, such as wishing I could fall asleep and wake up only if and when the pain is gone.
As I read the e-mail, I couldn’t help but think about what would I miss out on if my wish to escape the pain, whether permanently or temporary, were to be granted by some invisible wish-granting-fairy that others seem to allude to when they echo the words of my dad from years ago. I composed a list of some of the things I would miss out on if my wish were to be granted. It is certainly not all inclusive, but it hits the highlights of what I feel I would miss out on should life on earth for me end.
- Loneliness: I would no longer feel the intense pain of the loneliness that comes with being an empty nester and wife of a businessman who travels a lot.
- Rejection: I would no longer feel the sting of not being wanted or feeling like I don’t fit in with others.
- Pain: I would no longer get to experience the physical pain that comes with my disease–the fiery burning of nerve endings that make walking often difficult, the eye pain that accompanies everything I try to read or look at or watch, etc.
- Depression: I would no longer have the debilitating depression that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
- Brokenheartedness: I would no longer get to give all of myself to others only to have them turn around and break my heart.
- Guilt: I would no longer get to experience the guilt that comes with trying to live out a faith I don’t always understand.
- Confusion: Piggy-backing on #6, I would no longer get to wrestle with the confusion that plagues my thoughts.
- Anxiety/Worry: I would no longer get to have panic attacks or lie awake at night worrying about what is going to happen with one or more of my adult kids who are going through a difficult time.
- Uselessness: I would no longer get to feel like my life has no purpose.
I know there are more that could be included here. To be fair, I also know there are some positive things I would miss…future trips to the beach with my husband, possibly future grandkids, and a snowy day to name a few.
But it seems like there isn’t a lot to keep me fighting, at least after this month is over. I will continue to fight for seventeen more days, for I want to spend as much time as I can with my precious grandson before he is moved a state away from me. Beyond that, though, I don’t see much keeping me here.