Saturday, February 12, 2005

Flower Petals for ZuZu

On my last post, I raised the question of whether you would re-live your life if you could. More specifically, if you could wake up tomorrow, and find yourself 7 years old, but knowing all you know now, would you do it?

I'm sure all the reasons that this is so intriguing to me would require a skilled counselor, but this question/daydream has popped up on a regular basis for much of my adult life. Usually, I spend the time thinking about things I would have done or not done, people I would have spent more time with/less time with, etc. But recently, I was pondering a separate issue that, I think, will put the issue to rest for me.

First off, the strongest reason to want to go back: My mom would still be alive today. Probably.

My mom died of ovarian cancer in 1989, at the age of 61. She was way too young and vital and fun to have died otherwise, and has left a mom-shaped hole in my heart that nothing can fill (nor should it - God doesn't make replaceable people). If I woke up, and was 7 again, I would be spending a significant amount of time convincing my parents that I knew what was going to happen ("trust me, a peanut farmer from Georgia will be president in less than 10 years!"), and that they should find a doctor willing to do a full hysterectomy as soon as possible - I'd reimburse them with the money I would get with some well-placed venture capital to some kids in the bay area ("Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, here's my Dad's life savings. Cut us in for 25%"). A hysterectomy at that age would ensure that cancer had not had time to get out of the ovaries, if it was there yet at all. Given the chance, I'll take my mom back. She never got to hold her grandchildren. Never got to tell my wife what a yummy pumpkin pie she makes. Never got to go all those places she and my dad were going to go once he retired. Too many nevers...

And actually, this leads to the other side of the equation. Could I change only the things I wanted to, or would my life careen too far in other directions to end up here? What got me thinking seriously along this thread was the occasion of the birth of my 4th son in January (no girls. game over. 4 for 4 and done). As I looked at him, and then his brothers, I really thought about them - the unique individuals that they are. How did they get here? (Yes, I know how they got here - had it figured out even before the first was born). I mean, they come from the same gene pool, and yet are vastly different. And then, I started really thinking about the astounding odds involved in each of their existences.

For each child, there were - let us say - multiple attempts at conception, but only one that was successful. With each attempt, millions of unique, individual sperm cells were all rushing to find an egg. When an egg was found, only one sperm cell was allowed in to complete the fertilization process, which would ultimately lead to development and birth. So, each of my boys is literally one in a multi-million, and precious beyond measure.

Now, here's where it gets tricky. Let us say that I could successfully negotiate my "life-over" to get me to the point of marriage to my darling wife. What are my chances of getting the same 4 sperm cells to fertilize the same 4 eggs? Beyond impossible. I know that the children of this do-over would be precious, wonderful, special, etc. I would love them fiercely and dearly. But. They wouldn't be my boys that I have now, and remember, part of the deal here is that I know the life I had lived, and was able to alter it so my mom didn't die of ovarian cancer, so I would know of and remember those guys.

Even sitting here and writing those words fills me with an ache in my chest. I could never - will never - turn my back on my precious children, sacrificing them on the altar of selfishness.

On the day that my Lord call me to my true home, my mom will be there, welcoming. She will have been waiting longer than she would have wanted, but after a couple thousand years of holding my hand, she'll get over it (We can talk about the nuts and bolts of Heaven sometime later).

Let me end with a word-picture of our lives: You're driving down a road in the fog, and drive over a wooden bridge. Immediately, the fog lifts, and you stop and look back. The bridge you just drove over is made entirely of toothpicks placed in an interlocking pattern that will collapse if even one is removed. There is only One who is skilled enough to put this bridge together: any attempt to improve upon the design will ultimately result in collapse.

George Bailey never knew how much he would miss ZuZu's flower petals, until they were gone.

11 comments:

AuntieJeanne 7:14 PM, May 03, 2005  

Steve, Just wanted to say my Mom also died from ovarian cancer. She was 68. It sucks, no doubt. She only died last year so I'm still having a hard time. I can totally relate to what you're saying about all the things your mom isn't here to see. Don't know what more to say about it.

wholl resources 2:10 PM, October 03, 2005  

Searching for a cool sympathy flower directory i came across your blog. I felt like I needed to send her sympathy flower myself. I totally agree with your post and then some!!

Thanks

Anonymous 12:03 PM, October 11, 2005  

What fun and thanks a bunch! You might like order flower, too - if you can find the time :)

Anonymous 10:51 AM, October 12, 2005  

Reading blogs gives me so many ideas and I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to read yours. Feel free to stop by mine Roses and Rings and leave your comments. You'll see that mine covers a lot of flower and gardening territory, and stresses silk flower

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Anonymous 10:06 PM, October 22, 2005  

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a lung cancer site. It pretty much covers lung cancer related stuff.

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-----------------------------------------------------

Editor 4:37 PM, October 31, 2005  

Wow that´s a great blog that you have there, mine is slightly differnent but it basically covers the same topics.

I have a cancer cell site. It pretty much covers Cancer related stuff.

Check it out, you won´t regret it... Cheers.. Roger From Http://www.havecancer.com

Bill 2:33 PM, November 14, 2005  

Hi Professor Steve, I like your blog. How long have you been keeping it up? I am new to blogging but have my own websitre all about flower silk. I will keep an eye on your blog to see what else you have to say. All the best.

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