Miracles and Survivors

My aunt and I went to a conference last year where we heard a speaker talking about the power of positive intention.  Specifically, the speaker spoke about overcoming illness with positive thinking.  I felt myself getting uncomfortable and finally, somewhat angry by the end of the talk.

I believe in the power of intention.  I believe that when you complain about your situation all of the time, your situation probably won't change and I believe that if you think you can overcome obstacles, your chances greatly increase.  Positivity can't hurt, and will definitely make the quality of your life better.  What I don't think is that this is a foolproof way to change outcomes.  Sometimes the disease wins, no matter how positive the person who has it remains.  My aunt agreed - she lost her best friend and cousin to cancer.  My cousin Andrea radiated positivity. The talk we'd just listened to seemed to almost blame those who didn't survive - as if they only had their own selves to blame - for not being positive enough.

I've heard many people talk the same way about prayer.  "Our God is powerful", they say, when a "miracle" happens.  "Everyone was praying for her and our God heard".  I pray.  All of the time.  I use my prayer to focus on the really big things.  I don't pray for parking spaces or nice weather but I do pray for good health for the people I love.  I prayed for Maxie every day from the one I learned I was pregnant with him.  I prayed for his health, happiness and long life with a tremendous amount of intention - ALL OF THE TIME.  When he was in the hospital hooked up to life support, people were praying for him all over the world.  I have done a lot of traveling in my time and I have made friends in all corners of this earth and so when I say that they were praying for him all over the planet - I mean just that.  Our prayers were either ignored or meaningless.  Had he lived, everyone would have pointed to the power of our prayer.....but, he didn't.

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness month (it was also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month - which I am sure you did not know).  Now that I am back on Facebook, I noticed that my feed was inundated with people recognizing those loved ones who were breast cancer survivors.  There are a few in my family as well - including my mother.  And, maybe the people I know only know survivors - which would be a pretty good explanation of why I didn't really see anyone write about remembering someone they'd lost to breast cancer.  I am not saying nobody did it.  I am just saying, I didn't see it.

I'm not exactly sure how this all connects for me - but it does - in a way that has been glaring at me since the time we lost Max.  Everyone loves a happy ending.  Everyone loves positivity and miracles and survivors - and so that is where we focus all of our energy.  I can't tell you how many parents of children who passed from cancer tell me that they (and their child) had tremendous support while the child was still living but then were tossed aside after the child died.  It's like you stop counting when your happy ending doesn't happen.  And, to a much lesser degree, I've heard people say something similar about divorce - everyone was there when they celebrated their life's happy moments, but nobody was there once it all fell apart.

I guess what I want to say is that WE are the survivors - those of us who prayed, who kept a positive attitude in the darkest hours, who have to live without our children or loved ones for the rest of our lives, who have been tasked with building whole new lives.  BELIEVE ME when I tell you that I wish the survivor had been Max.  HE was the purpose of our prayer.  BELIEVE ME when I tell you that I prayed directly to God with intention for his life.  BELIEVE ME when I tell you that I wish I could say, "He was a fighter, we prayed and poured all of our positive intentions into his recovery and then God gave us a miracle."  Max was never given a diagnosis.  He was never sick.  He couldn't have been a "fighter" even if he wanted to.

Believe me when I tell you that us parents, who are left on this earth without our children - WE ARE SURVIVORS.....and if I were on Facebook, I'd tag every one of you - Teddy, Susan, Molly, Bryan, Glenda, Alta, Rebecca, Tiffany, Suzanne, Kira, Jane, Jami, Mallow, John, Heather, Fiona, Grace, Susanna, Justine, Harriet, Eve, Jill, Melissa, Cassie.....I've left out so many but you are ALL survivors - and that is the most dumbfounding miracle of them all.


Anonymous said...

I cried when I read this entry. I don't know if I am survived, but I know what you mean. I don't feel like I am living and I am looking forward to the end of this life. Sorry for being negative, but it's so hard to be positive when the life becomes meaningless. Thank you for mentioning my name.


Em said...

Ain't that the truth