Oops, She Did it Again

Posted on December 21, 2011


OK, so I’m supposed to be a humor writer (in my mind, of course).  And I write the nonsense that’s in my head, which folks think is funny and I think is amazing that they think it’s funny because it’s just the stuff that always pops into my head, unbidden, anyway.  I don’t ever sit down and say “I think I’ll write something funny.” It’s just always there, and blogging is easier than being a stand up comic because I have paralyzing stage fright and I probably would want to lose 5 lbs before getting on stage and that wouldn’t happen.

But every so often, I come across a person whose courage is so huge and so inspiring, that the doofus stuff in my head is temporarily whacked aside and I feel the need to express something other than what I usually do.  And I am humbled and grateful that a lot of you don’t stop reading after the first paragraph because you expected satire and you got something else.

Last Friday, I reposted a piece about my dear friend Bill, who died two years ago of kidney cancer. A couple of you wanted more about Bill. So I wrote a piece about Bill’s final days, as well as about the final days of a woman I knew years ago. That meant two serious pieces in a row from me, a record.

And then something happened.  Not only did a lot of people respond, but I had responses from two people in Blogdom who stopped me in my tracks.  Talk about courage. Wow.  Now all my good intentions of continuing today with my usual nonsense, are yet again set aside, so that I can tell you about these people. So you can know what they are up to.  So you can be with your friends and family this weekend and know that these people, and others like them, are out there.  And maybe because of that, you won’t get annoyed when your sister-in-law intimates that you were thinner last year. Or you won’t be upset when the dinner isn’t quite what you thought it should be or when your son wants to text all through dinner and you want to take the goddamn iPhone away from him and shove it up the turkey’s butt.  And the turkey didn’t do anything to deserve that.

So, here goes:

Bonnie, Memory Bears by Bonnie,  is a hospice and palliative care nursing assistant. It’s her job to help families through the loss of a loved one. It wasn’t her job to watch her 45-year-old son, Jon, die of cancer in 2010. So Bonnie made what she called a “Memory Bear” for Jon’s wife and children.  She used pieces of Jon’s clothing to make the bear. The Memory Bear became a part of their healing. Now she makes Memory Bears for a lot of other people who have lost loved ones.  And she writes her blog.  Which is about life, not about death. Because that’s what Bonnie is about.

Mike,  Face of Cancer, is 26 years old.  Diagnosed with leukemia at age 19.  In Mikes own words, “Being diagnosed with Cancer was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s made me a better person and created a desire to never stop trying to improve who I am and where I plan on going.”  I’d like you to read that statement again.  He said cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him. And if you read his blog, you will get it loud and clear. Mike understands life in a way that few people of any age do or ever will. At age 26, he’s way ahead of the game.  He also writes “Follow this blog and watch me FUCK up cancer.” He uses the word “fuck” in caps for a reason. That’s because he is, after all, still 26, and at that age, “fuck” is the perfect word to use.  In caps.

So there it is.  Three serious posts in a row.  At the expense of all the stuff that’s crying out to see the light of day.  Like Kim Jon-Il, the Charlie Sheen of despots. And my Boomer Guide to the New Year.  And a bunch of other stuff that won’t change your life one single bit, but might make you smile.  So I’m temporarily finished with the serious stuff. Until the next person comes along who makes me stop in mid-sarcasm.  And I hope everyone is OK with never knowing what they are going to get when they click on Life In the Boomer Lane.  Because I sure never know when I sit down to write.


Posted in: blogging, gratitude, life