I rarely buy the local daily it has gotten so scant while the price keeps going up. Days that I do buy it, I linger over the impossibly absurd memorials on the obit page. I discovered this gem in yesterday's paper and thought it might amuse you. Maybe it's my age, but I am constantly reading the first paragraphs of obits in the local rag just to see how many people tell me how a love one has "gone to be with the Lord" or now finds him or her "resting in the arms of the Lord" or other deluded, completely illogical euphemisms for "died" or "passed" or "passed away." The memorials are something else. Considering the high cost of a display ad in the paper, it always amazes me when people shell out hundreds of dollars to tell us how much they miss a brother, cousin, Aunt Betsy or Sister Sarah. Sometimes they resort to poetry, as in this lone ad yesterday:
"In loving memory of [C.M.], Nov. 15, 1970 - Aug. 9, 2002
"God saw she was getting tired and a cure was not to be,/So He put His arms around her and whispered 'Come with me'/With tear filled eyes we watched her suffer and fade away./Although we loved her deeply we could not make her stay./A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands put to rest./God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.
"A thousand words won't bring back, we know because we've tried,/neither will a thousand tears, we know because we've cried."
Far be it from me to criticize anyone poetasting; I am a prose craftsman and composed about a half-dozen poems in my time. But I cannot resist pointing out the fallacies in the poem, beginning with the simple question, "Why couldn't God have cured the loved one? I happen to have chronic leukemia. I pray to science rather than God. And science is at the threshold of finding a cure for this, the most common form of leukemia. As most know, Big Pharma prioritizes discovery of cures according to how large the group of people suffering from a particular ailment or disease. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (or CLL) is the most widespread form of the blood disorders, and research is intense to find its undoing. In my own time with the disease, at least one form of leukemia has been conquered by a cure that involves nothing more than taking a ill. The last resort for CLL patients is a bone marrow transplant, and the procedure for that has been streamlined considerably. If "God saw [C.M.] was getting tired and a cure was not to be," why have faith in Him at all? If He is all-powerful and good, why did he give C.M. the disease in the first place?
There is no god but Man.
Your daughter's friends may be damned if they do, damned if they don't. My leukemia may have been caused by something in the old house I moved into about 30 years ago. Most often, leukemia is idiopathic. I will never know what caused it. But chemo can cause other problems. I may have lost sight in one eye from it, but it could have been other things, too. If the leukemia is acute, there may not be much time left for them. If it is chronic, like mine, they can live for years and die of natural causes. I was just "lucky" in getting chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, the easiest to deal with. I have had two chemos, one in 2000 and another in 2009, but new drugs are coming onto the market all the time according to my blood doctor. Tell them to find a good oncologist. I was lucky we have one here. I wish them all best luck. Not believing in God, it is all I can do for them. I shall not pray.