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No Answer?

©00 Levite
©01 The Media Desk

[this was the answer to a question that went unasked in an email a friend sent to the Desk.
It is offered as a public service to anybody that needs to hear it, and maybe a few that don't want to hear it.
Permission to use with credit hereby given. The Media Desk]

There is no answer to the question you have asked.

Yes. There was only one question there.

       No it wasn't why you are unhappy, or does he still love you, or can you ever get back what they took from you.


       It was... Why me?

       Everybody has asked that. My wife did when she found out she had cancer at 38. I did looking up at the ceiling in an ambulance listening to the paramedic telling the hospital on the radio that my EKG didn't look right. My daughter did when she got lice.

       It is a constant to the human condition. The Jews being marched into Autschwitz asked it. The blacks in the holds of slave ships asked it. Every rape victim asks it. Every condemned criminal facing the death chamber. Every person in the dentist chair getting prepared for a root canal. Every third-grader getting their 'shots' for school. Every person drawing their last breath facing that dark night of eternity. The Rich Man staring across the Gulf from Hades to Lazarus in the Bosom of Abraham... 'Why me?'

The answer given by the Universe is... 'Why Not You?'

       Nobody promised anybody a Rose Garden. Life is NOT FAIR. Everybody has a 'thorn in the flesh' as the Apostle Paul called it. Some say it was his eyes, others say it was his mother in law. It comes to some sooner and some later. It'll visit me this week and you next week, and nobody said it was going back to the library in two weeks. It might just stay forever.

       A woman whose child had just died went to Buddha and, in unbearable grief, asked the Enlightened One to restore her child to life. Buddha told her, 'go, bring me a bowl of rice from a house where no one has died, and I will restore your child'. The woman went the length and breadth of the land, for months on end, searching for that house. Then she returned to him saying, 'Now, I understand.'
       Misfortune, curse its name, is as much a part of our life as is sleep and taxes. If you are alive, there will be pain. Death. Confusion. Illness. Misery. Despair. And Agony. Sounds like a song from 'Hee Haw' don't it? That's why it was so funny and lasted so long. Everybody could relate to it. Just like Buddha's woman, she had to be forced to see that 'sh** happens' to everybody. And eventually... it will happen to you.
       Show me the person who has had everything go their way, for their entire life, and I will show you a person who is living in a 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade' world. Sometimes the lemons are rotten. If you don't see them, you are deluded. The 'nice young men in the clean white coats are coming to take me away...'
       On TV, all problems are solved after the commercial break. No troubles in life are greater than the power of a wisecracking kid and a laugh track. If you are miserable, try our breath spray and you'll be beating off attractive lifeguards with a broom handle. Sorry, doesn't work like that. Only in the formula romance novels are happy endings a sure thing. Magic rings and unicorns aside, here in the mundane world, there is plenty of mud and cold French fries to go around.
       Can you overcome? Well, the Civil Rights marching song says you can. Any number of greeting cards proclaim it in pastel colors with kittens in a basket. But the civil rights movement kinda went flat because too many people didn't want to overcome, and the kittens I am most recently experienced with had fleas.

       There is no guarantee that EVERYTHING will work out in the end. None short of religious faith anyway. In this life, in this world, here and now, us, we... nothing can be promised to be better tomorrow than it is today. In fact, not even tomorrow can be promised. Murphy 'whatever can go wrong, will' was above all else, a realist.

       That is why I have my faith. I've seen this world. It sucks. In spades. I have seized upon the Hope of the next world with both hands and am clinching It so tight I'm getting a cramp in my shoulder. As for This World, there is nothing left that I want except to see my kids do better than I did. That's it. Drive this mess right into the ground with one of those big stakes they use to hold up a circus tent, I've had enough of it. But I am sticking around to make sure my girls have a decent shot at taking the next step.
       We are not even guaranteed our next breath. Nothing is going to be handed to us. 'Live Long and Prosper'? We know better. Eat right, exercise, die anyway. Why bother to be depressed, things are only going to get worse, and they'll do it without any help from you. Your husband is an arse? So what? The TV talk shows parade women that say that across the stage at least twice a week. Your wife is a *itch? That's the two other shows, and on Friday, they bring both of them on at once to argue about it. Perfect marriages, absolutely darling children, clean sheets and golden brown chicken in the oven... there's a Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Smithsonian if you want to see that. In the real world. She nags, he farts, the kids were throwing rocks at the neighbor's dog, and the chicken comes in a freezer box from the IGA.

       Focus on what you can change. Concentrate on making your kids better people. Do what you can to make your relationship with your spouse better. Give. Yes, GIVE. Give until you have nothing left to give and then, well, find something else to give. 'He won't love me back' 'She just wants my paycheck and the garbage taken out' ... yeah ... so? Welcome to the NFL. Nobody is going to pull the punches here. If you get knocked down, you are going to have to get back up and shake it off, and well, don't look now, here comes the next one.
       Everybody needs to recharge once in awhile. I do it with my eyes looking toward God. Somebody else may draw it from another source. But it comes from outside the self. You are not the Energizer Bunny. Where do you think you can find that last little bit to give? In you? That cellar was cleaned out for a yard sale last spring. It has to come from outside. And I'm sorry, but drawing it from your friends here is going to run thin after awhile. They are other people. Other people with cars that won't start and bill collectors calling and a boss that won't shut up.
       You have a soul. Yes. Even you have a soul. It's there. And like the Tin Man's heart, he knows it's there because it is breaking, you know you have one because it's sick.
       Yes my friend. This time the illness is not in your lower intestine. When it gets to the 'Why Me' point, the question is coming from deeper. You are now officially searching for meaning. A meaning that you are not going to find on 'Survivor Island' or in a bottle of pills from the head shrinker.
       Something is out there waiting for you to find it. I am not going to presume to tell you it's God. You will know it when you find it.

       Will it solve all your problems? Will life make sense and the septic tank quit backing up?

Yeah, right.

       But if you find it, you may find hope that in the final reckoning, it was indeed, all worth it.

And if it helps at all.... somebody out there loves you.


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