So I began to ask friends, theologians, historians, nuns I liked, “What am I going to do when that loving feeling is gone?”
And they knew exactly what I was talking about, because they had either experienced it themselves or they’d read about it in great works of Christian theology. And they said, “Yeah, it’ll go. The feelings will go. And there will be no formula for how to get it back.”
But they offered me this little piece of reassurance, and I clung to it. They said, “When the feelings recede like the tides, they will leave an imprint.”
And they do. And it is not proof of anything, and it is nothing to boast about. It was just a gift.
So I can’t respond to the thousands of emails I get with my own five-step plan to divine health and magical floating feelings. I see that the world is jolted by events that are wonderful and terrible, gorgeous and tragic. I can’t reconcile the contradiction, except that I am beginning to believe that these opposites do not cancel each other out.
Life is so beautiful, and life is so hard.
Today, I am doing quite well. The immunotherapy drugs appear to be working, and we are watching and waiting with scans. I hope I will live a long time.
I hope I will live long enough to embarrass my son and to watch my husband lose his beautiful hair. And I think I might.
But I am learning to live and to love without counting the cost, without reasons and assurances that nothing will be lost. Life will break your heart, and life may take everything you have and everything you hope for.
But there is one kind of prosperity gospel that I believe in. I believe that in the darkness, even there, there will be beauty, and there will be love. And every now and then, it will feel like more than enough.
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