And That Person Is Me

540198_4507508420865_1560694518_nThis quote from Twain found on the anonymity of the interwebby resonates through me. It disturbs me, much like the bees in a hive rattle their home when threatened, or when simply misunderstood. It makes me think of things past, present, and future, and not all of it is warm and fuzzy.

I’ve lived what most would considered a privileged life for over fifty years in a country known for its common wealth, on a planet where most lives are described as “struggling”. I was not gifted with an oversight that allowed me to appreciate what I was given. I often found myself depressed and disconnected from the resurgent optimism that surrounded me, so much so that I was the often the visitor to professional mental health specialists who hoped to discover the root cause to my malaise. This started in my junior high school years and intermittently continues to this very day.

All their years of training could only deduce that I was predisposed to depression, much like a fish is to water. I am here to dispute their professional opinions.

What I was waiting for, and what was sorely missing from my meaningless life was…meaning.

I’ve chased money, prestige, power, and glory and caught them all to some extent, but none of them gave meaning to my life. No, it was only when my wife, a woman of supreme intelligence, beauty, and independence learned that she had cancer that my life found a purpose, a predestined purpose. To be honest, every man thinks of fighting for a righteous, but losing cause, as a noble thing to aspire to, but when my wife was diagnosed with cancer, this cause became so intimate, so spiritual that it became a new religion, a quest only God could assign or understand. In the three years since this mission, I’ve come to replace the common definition of “life” with a more robust, but very personal explanation.

I see people who have money and consider themselves living “the good life”. I mourn for them. Money has no value in my world. How much money will make my wife whole? The value of all the money ever printed is useless to me.

I see people who consume influence and power as if it were the sole value of their lives, but I know that when faced with cancer what they value will crumble like dust. What they value will fail like the arrogant walls of Troy.

I am not naive enough to believe that all lives are worth the same. No, some lives are as valuable as a sailor’s paycheck during a port visit, but some lives ARE priceless, like the life I committed to over twenty years ago. Her emotional, spiritual, and intellectual worth to me is irreplaceable, so unique that I truly believe that it cannot be duplicated by Darwinian chance or Godly intervention.

Hers is a life of such worth that it deserves a place on a pedestal, carved in granite for future generations to marvel at. Ultimately, this is a life that does not deserve its present or future. This is a soul to be admired, respected, and preserved. And this is the crux of my dispute with God.

She rests now in a pain medication induced sleep surrounded by animals that know the purity of her soul. I serve her as needed, but I cannot change anything. I am impotent in her present and future, I am a rumor, a whisper to her needs.

And I am now only a vacant witness to the greatest soul I’ve ever known.

But this is my cause, this is my holy quest, to see her complete until she is full, to see her loved until the love she has given is balanced by love expressed.

And after my bittersweet purpose is fulfilled, I expect to exist as an empty shell.

And this is my reason “why” as expressed by Twain. It is something that only I can do, and I will perform my duties far beyond my abilities for as long as I have breath. After that, it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter to me if my words or my efforts are respected on earth or in heaven after I pass as long as she knows that she matters that much now,and in the future, to one person on earth.

And that person is me.

Reprinted from my blog http://besidesthecancer.org.

Avatar of Bob Marcotte

About Bob Marcotte

WHAT ABOUT BOB? My name is Bob Marcotte, and I am a musician, photographer, author and caregiver. Unlike my other job titles, the caregiver job title came without training and with little notice. Now, it’s the job title I am most proud of. I live in California with my wife, Carole, who is still recovering from her massive surgeries. We are guarded and kept company by our two dogs and a cat, all rescued animals. After the Stanford medical miracle, perhaps Carole can be considered ‘rescued’, too. You can contact us at bob@besidesthecancer.org . ABOUT THE BOOK If everyone's life is a book, and every day a page, then there are some days that deserve to be dog-eared. Your high school graduation, your wedding day, the birth of your children, and the day that your doctor discusses cancer with you for the first time. I wrote "You Mean, Besides the Cancer?" to vent frustration, to keep hold of my sanity, and hopefully help future caregivers. If you are a caregiver, or about to be one, this book can hopefully shortcut the learning curve that sliced me to shreds. This book is the story of my wife's cancer and our journey through the medical system that eventually led us to one of the most cutting edge, lifesaving surgeries on earth. You can buy the book on our blog or online at the usual online bookstores. The price of the e-book is $1.99. It's as low as they'd let be price it. This book was not written to make money. Our blog is http://besidesthecancer.org.

One thought on “And That Person Is Me

  1. Avatar of ThedogmamaThedogmama

    Thank you for sharing this most intimate picture of the purpose in one man’s life…such a beautiful expression of love despite the pain that this devastating disease brings to your life. A thoughtful message to those of us who struggle with our own why.

    Reply

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