This post explains my long absence from writing here…
Life is fragile. All of life on earth must come to an end. And there are thousands of ways in which the mind and body can be tortured. Suffering is very real.
And yet, I say, life is beautiful.
Most of 2017 has been very difficult for me so far. An ambulance came for me on the ninth and I was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Breathing takes extra effort for me anyway, with my little crippled up body, my torso twisted and deformed by severe scoliosis, my muscles weakened by my motor neuron disease – add an infection with lung inflammation to that and the act of breathing becomes the main focus of every waking moment. Thank God, the pneumonia cleared quickly and I was released from the hospital on the thirteenth. I knew that recovery would be slow, with continued coughing and weakness, but, slowly, I was beginning to recover. I was so happy. And then, on the 26th, I started a cold. A cold with a cough. It became a bad chest cold. And I knew that my period was coming, which is often painful, with vomiting and very heavy bleeding that leaves me anemic and even more tired and weak. I was scared. I dreaded what would happen and how much my little body could take. The mucus was too thick for my poor little lungs and chest to cough up and out, so that it blocked my airway many times. Although, always, thankfully, for just a short period. Before I accepted Christ, a similar airway distress would freak me out and put me into a panic. But, now, God helps me to remain calm. By the grace of God, I soldiered through even though I was completely exhausted. I’m still exhausted, still coughing, still bleeding, still choking up a little at times, but the medicine is working, God is good, and I do believe that I will get through this virus and be able to breathe without thinking so much sometime soon.
But, the fact is, when I first composed this piece in my head, I wasn’t sure at all. I thought that I would die. That’s not a dramatic thought. I came close. It doesn’t take much for this little body to go over the edge. And it scares me. In less than a month I caught pneumonia and then bronchitis – and I’m scared about what else can happen. I know that we all have to die sometime, but I don’t want to leave. Staying alive is so strenuous, so terribly difficult sometimes, as I know it is, even more so, for so many people…
And still, I maintain, life is beautiful.
It must be beautiful if I am so unwilling and scared to leave it. I love life and I love my family – my mother and father, my sister and brother-in-law, my two nephews – more than words can say. And I have a big family beyond that, too, and friends. I know that they will grieve when I die. I don’t want to leave them and I don’t want to think about them dealing with the heartache and sorrow of my loss.
Jesus suffered on the cross. He was filled with agony and dread, was tortured in mind and body and died in pain. He didn’t have to suffer and die. God chose to become a human being, to become one of us and suffer with us. Why? Because life is beautiful. Jesus chose to suffer torture and die for love. Redemption. Resurrection. For the eternal life of every person. Because life is good and love never ends…
If I could see the beauty in my own suffering, perhaps, then, I wouldn’t fear it so much. If my loved ones could see the beauty in my own death, perhaps, then, they will not mourn it so much.
God help us.
If I am able to continue writing, look for more posts exploring life and death, sharing the things that I need to tell my family and the world before I go…
See especially Inspire and Expire to continue the story…
© 2017 Christina Chase
Christina Chase View All
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and the insights you have gleaned from them, and I hope you will be well and continue with your writing!
Thank you! God is seeing me through, I hope I don’t forget any of the lessons that I have been learning along the way.
We are with you as we have been all year. Thank you for this post. From Canterbury, Love, Will.
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Sorry, I clicked the wrong ‘like’ button! 🙂
You are a beautiful person. I can’t imagine what you’re going through with all of your health issues and fearing for your life in a real way. You are clearly a dear child of God to be able to see the beauty in suffering and death. May God be with you and you and your family will be in my prayers.
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Thank you very much for the prayers. I’m still here (thank God) and I’m trying to do my best to recover fully and fully become the person God wants me to be. May God bless you,
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Beautiful written as always by I would be lying if I didn’t say it brought tears to my eyes and a heavy heart. I hope you are on the mend soon and I can’t imagine the feelings you are experiencing.
Thank you for reflecting with me. Life is full of experiences, smiles, tears, laughter– everything, right? Blessings to you
Hello, my dear friend Christina, I was so happy to hear and get your post. That’s my selfishness 🙂 … so sorry for your ills, pain , suffering … thank you so much for sharing. What I love about your writing is one of the major aspects if you will is the Truth you speak. You face your sorrows head on and share them. In the beauty of suffering in God our Lord our savior. That you know did not have to but did for us. U offering up yourself for us is truly amazingly greatful for it . Thank you Christina. Hope that the 2017 turns around for you and yours. God will turn all to good. You are an inspiration to me. truly you are … God bless always donna marie as u know of course u and yours are always in my prayers thinking well of you 🙂 blessings
Oh Donna, I know that you know what it’s like to suffer! Your love for God and your faith our inspirations to me – thank you for your encouragement. I am on the mend and slowly recovering. Next post will tell more. This experience is giving me a new perspective and priority for my memoirs. Talk with you soon I hope.
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Thank you Christina take your time the glory of God you are as you’re working to God you doing his work Christina you always are and be well the best you can be I appreciate your acknowledgement to me. It will talk soon we can or we can you take care now in Jesus name amen.
I’ve been wondering where you went, Christina. Meeting you this way has been important to me, so I look for your words. The inner strength and courage implied here, while probably not chosen so much as forced on you, is a source of strength for me. I am fortunate that you find some kind of peace through writing because I am reminded to be thankful not just for my own life but everyone else’s, and for both the joys and the sorrows of out natural condition. Faith elevates us from that (Ibelieve) but not so far that we do not experience pain or fear or sadness. And faith is stronger when it is shared. Through this mysterious cyber-medium, God supports us abd we each other. Deo gratias.
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Yes, thank God indeed! My life has been and is still full of blessings. My body is slowly healing and I hope that my mind is opening and deepening, as well as my heart. I am grateful for, not only the gift of writing, but also the gift of sharing – for all of you. Thank you!