Life’s Blazing Confusions

Staring at the controlled hip of a fire in my fireplace this morning, I can’t get a video of the Los Angeles fires out of my mind.

In my time, I will flip a switch, and the flames of this fire will be extinguished.

That isn’t the case with the Los Angeles wildfires, or the confusing blazes that burn in our hearts and minds.

After I got in the car, yesterday, after having lunch with my daughter-in-law, I had NPR on the radio. Some people find public radio stations “liberal” whatever that really is, but I enjoy many of the stories that are told. I do believe it is in the intent of which we listen and see things, that either allow us to open up or shut down.

I could barely drive, listening to this story. A sister told it. I missed the beginning, but I think it was about what happened to a family, her sister’s family, in the recent wildfires in the wine country of California.

She sniffled as she spoke.

It was a harrowing story. The family tried to escape the fire that, whipped over the hill and arrived faster than the family could leave.

I was stunned, and as I said, I missed part of it, but what I discerned, was the family got in the car and drove down the long drive and the fire caught them.

The husband and wife, and two children, a boy and a girl, had to get out of the car, which got too hot.

The two children died, the father and mother were burned. The parents witnessed what was happening and could do nothing. The woman’s sister is still in the hospital, sedated. The husband, a carpenter, whose hands were severely burned, is trying to heal his hands an heart and keep his wife with hopes of having a life.

This blaze, that is happening now, in California, is whipped like a Ninja blender, by the Santa Ana winds, are adding confusion and concern to a friend of mine’s life.

One of her sons has to have a very serious surgery in Los Angeles, he and his brother need to get to Los Angeles by train, and the wild fires might be in the way. My friend will be traveling through this fire area, by car, to meet up with her sons in Los Angeles.

She is trying to stay sane.

ugh of life is about putting out little fires before they become raging storms. But there are times when the raging storm, despite our best efforts, engulfs us in confusion, fear, and hopelessness.

It just does.

People say that I have a good attitude and am “positive” in my outlook. In ways, I am. But trust me, I am not Pollyanna. And positivity isn’t a cure all for cancer or any other illness.

Some studies suggest that a good attitude helps when fighting disease. Other studies might say that it doesn’t matter.

Actually, I am pragmatic. I don’t care if that cup is half full or half empty, if I am thirsty, I will drink what is there. I will put out a fire with a half full or half empty glass of water. Sometimes, it isn’t the attitude, it is the action. You just do what you have to do, or feel is right, or do what you feel like doing.

This Cancerland world is an area I am exploring. I am not sure if it has hit me that they are going to remove a golf ball size hunk of my breast. I am going through the motions, doing what I need to do, educating myself, and making this as much of good adventure as I can.

The fact is, many wonderful positive people, women and men, die from cancer. They did what they were “supposed” to do. They took the treatment, took care of themselves, said they were going to beat it, but died.

That happens. It will happen to each of us, in its own time and way. I don’t know anyone who has avoided, death, with or without a positive attitude.

Right now, I am good because the statistics are on my side. Trust me, it is more the statistics, than the attitude. It is the advancements in treatment and knowing who I am and how I choose to be dealt with in this situation.

We are each different. What I am going through is easy peasy, compared to what my dear friend has on her plate. What she is going through is a true test. Some of our firestorms are similar, many, different. How we deal with them is an individual thing. Trust, me, I have times when the smile is gone, fear is in my eyes, and I feel the flames lapping at my toes. All of theses emotions and responses are human, part of life.

I accept them, all.

Susan

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