Sunday, March 23, 2008

Check-out line

Since i am a daily grocery shopper, i was in the grocery store today. As i was waiting in line i did what i cannot avoid, peruse the tabloids.

Three-headed baby born to alien love child of Elvis (or whatever.)
Britney blah blah blah (whatever.)
Angelina and Brad blah blah blah (yawn. whatever.)
Patrick Swayze's Brave Fight Against Cancer.


I wonder, has anyone ever fought a cowardly fight against cancer? (I also wonder why he, who is older than i am, has a face that looks like plastic. But whatever.)

Are we automatically brave when we get cancer? Or any other horrible hideous fatal awful disease?

Does anyone just give up and lie on the front lawn and say "Take me, i am not fighting?"

(Because i just might. Depending on my age at the time of the news.)

Or does merely coping with what life gives us make us brave?

If it does, we are all brave. We cope with depression, diabetes, handicapped children, cancer, aging parents, PTSD, sexual assault, young children, autism, abandonment, alcoholism, anxiety, poverty, homelessness, neglect, custody fights, divorce... the list goes on.

No one gets out alive.

Just thinking about how brave i think y'all are.


Girlplustwo said...

not me. i'm tepidly inching my way through the wall of life with nails clenched, sighing quietly on the inside.


Liv said...

jen? hon? you're a powerhouse.

meno, you nailed it. we are all pretty darn brave. getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, taking care of business, and doing our best to self-actualize. the more i know about my friends' struggles, the more i love them. i am literally filled with joy to witness their humanity.

thailandchani said...

I think Liv said it best... on many levels. Lots of things I'm thinking about lately, too, and this post is timely.

flutter said...

have I mentioned I love you, meno?

I so do.

There is transcendence in witnessing the bravery that people display, everyday.

and it doesn't take cancer.

Mrs. Chili said...

Meno, I'm seriously shuddering over here.

I saw a magazine cover with Patrick Swazey on it and I SWEAR TO GOD/DESS I had the SAME thought. Both my adopted grandmother and mom are fighting cancer. I've got friends, both online and in 3D, who are fighting depression, alcoholism, lousy relationships or jobs, racism and homophobia - the list goes sadly on.

Even those of us for whom things are going pretty well still have to get up every morning and face the unknowns the day has to offer. I think just breathing in and out is an act of bravery, and I love that you said it.

furiousBall said...

i'm gonna fight dirty, death better watch his (or her, judging from how mean my ex wife is) nuts. cause, i'm a kickin' them

Dianne said...

In a time when the word hero is so over used I always think of the everyday heroes.

Hell - to raise a family, go to work every day, try to ponder the economy, hope for a better government .... and on and on.

that to me is always heroic.

Anonymous said...

I had cancer 3 years ago. I wasn't brave in dealing with it, I was just doing what I had to do because there was no other option. You either treat it, or you die. I was surviving, and there was nothing brave about it. I cried every day, wimpered in corners, grieved over losing parts of my body. If anything, I faced it with cowardice!

I don't understand the language surrounding cancer. It's like nothing else in life is equitable to battle. If you ask me, everything is a battle to the end.

Anonymous said...

Life is all about struggle. We struggle to get out into the world, we struggle daily to stay there. Given what I saw my grandfather go through with bone cancer, I think I'll book a ticket to Amsterdam if I ever get that diagnosis. There's life and there's quality of life. One without the other isn't worth the struggle anymore.

Anonymous said...

thanks. you too.

life is mostly hard, no matter who or where you are.

peevish said...

I was reading through your list thinking "God, the people who deal with these things really have it rough"! Then I got down to "young children". And I laughed out loud. I have young children! And they are sometimes an affliction. But, of course, also a source of joy, which I'm betting cancer is not.

Marshamlow said...

I think the magazine is using the word brave to deflect from the fact that they are using someone's cancer as a way to sell magazines. My grandma just passed away from pancreatic cancer which is what Swayze has, for her she chose not to have treatment and to just take as much morphine as they would give her and let death come, the sooner the better.

I am not sure if that was very brave or very unbrave, but it was her choice, which I hated.

We all struggle everyday and are all brave to face the day. I don't think saying one person is brave takes away from the bravery of others though.

Susanne said...

I think there are people who are resigning, and not fighting.

But then, these days, everyone has to be fighting. Even people who don't stand much of a chance have to be fighting because nobody is allowed to die. At least not in public.

meno said...

jen, and that makes you brave. Actuallly, i hve met you and seen you in action, you will be unable to convince me that anything about you is tepid.

liv, we are all just doing the best we can with what we have. Very brave.

chani, i think liv did say it very well.

flutter, aw shucks. No, it doesn't take cancer, just life is enough to make us need courage.

mrs. chili, i bet you saw the same magazine. Isn't his face scary?

furious, i just bet you are. You should sell tickets.

dianne, i agree. Just makin' it through ain't always easy.

poe, beautifully said. That's it exactly. And we all die anyway.

gordo, i'm with you on the Amsterdam thing, and on the quality issue.

de, yeah, i can barely think of anyone who has a perfectly easy life. I come pretty close, but it's still hard.

marsha, you nailed it, it sells magazines. I can very much understand what your grandmother did. I know it was hard for you though, and for that i am sorry.

susanne, and definately not in the U.S., where choosing to die peacfully is illegal.

Heather said...

Yup, life is tough. If it wasn't would there be any point? Doubt it.

Ortizzle said...

Someone once said (i forget who) that "No one gets through life without their share of pain and suffering unless they die in childbirth." On the other hand, it's when you are famous that surviving is a virtue.

Vanessa said...

I agree, some days just getting out of bed is a brave thing.

mamatulip said...

Hear, hear.

Love this.

Scott from Oregon said...

It's in the culture...
"Land of the free lunch, home of the brave chemo patient..."

I think there's a song, too...

Lynnea said...

I'm not sure I can be counted in the brave bunch owing to the fact that I whine through a lot of it.

Oh and don't forget having a teenager who drives, or just having a teenager. That takes bravery too.

TTQ said...

Some days I'm brave and some days I wish it would all just end. But I'm still here so one must out weigh the other in the laws of physics . Most days I try not to think about it. I'm just not that smart.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Trying to decide which would sell more magazines - cowardly or brave?

Well put, Meno. Well put.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's well to remember that other people's lives are never as they seem either. We all hide pain and carry on, and that sounds like a perfect definition of bravery to me.

tt said...

brave??? I think having courage is being brave. Boy, that's a deep one....I'm going to be thinking about that for a while.

QT said...

This was a truly great post. And there are days when I *feel* like laying on the lawn and saying "take me - I am not fighting,"...tho cancer wasn't in the picture..

sari said...

I think it's the people who aren't handed the world on a platter yet find a way to face it every day that are brave.

Not to belittle what Patrick Swayze is going through, but...I agree. it's all to make a buck, on the part of the tabloid rags.

Anonymous said...

several years ago, when I was going through a nasty divorce, a young girl I worked with said, 'you're so strong, I could never handle what you're dealing with'...I remember thinking, 'you silly silly girl, you'd handle it if your husband left you and his girlfriend was already pregnant before you got your ass to the attorney's office; not like I have a choice here' it's a pet peave of mine to hear things like that, knowing that it takes not so much strength as the desire to keep breathing.

LazyLazyMe said...

Hmm, bravery is about choice, no?

When I read this post I thought you were taking a swipe at us all for moaning. And rightly so. But it appears that you think we're all brave, in our own way. Which is a little nauseating.

People can have a shitty time of it and deserve our pity/sympathy/respect but that does not equal bravery.

Diane Mandy said...

A great and thoughtful post, Meno. I agree with you!

meno said...

HE eigler, wouldn't it be interesting to find out though.

ortizzle, seriously, if i see the headline "______ _______ in cowardly fight with cancer" i will buy the magazine.

vanessa, today it took an act of courage for me. But i am not a morning person.

mamatulip, why thank you.

scott, if there's a song, i know you will post it on your blog.

maggie, whining? That lets me out too. See you in the coward support group.

ttq, the trouble with it all ending, or ending it all, is that then it would be over. I can understand the relief and the sadness of that.

cagey, wouldn't you buy a magazine with the Cowardly Cancer Patient? I would.

hearts, it's a condition of being alive. It ain't no fun sometimes.

tt, or foolish.

qt, yes, i have those days too. I really am a whiny coward.

sari, i love it that we are all so cynical about this. Right on!

holly, that tweaks me too. We do what we have to. I was talking with a friend last week after we had both read a book where a woman faces one of her worst fears. My friend said "I could never do that!" "Yes you could" was my reply.

lazy, i don't know if it's a choice. And i am nauseating.

diane, glad you liked it.

Say It said...

I gotta be honest, I've handled most detestable things that came my way like a two year old in mid fit. If I ever get cancer, I'm sure to act the same way. No Regrets.

Anonymous said...

Poor Patrick, though. Let's call him up and ask him if he's feeling brave.

urban-urchin said...

say it's comment made me laugh. I agree with you Meno. Finding out you have a horrible disease is not a ticket to bravery.

ms chica said...

Now that you mention it, it puts out the vibe that everyone who participates will get a ribbon.

I have encountered a couple of the front lawn people you mentioned...society buries them, they don't make good press.

crazymumma said...

Yes. We are.

sari said...

Capacious made me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Brave or not, we still need to keep people in our thoughts and wish them well. Patrick, you are in my thoughts everyday and I hope you beat that ugly disease!