I have a confession to make; I tend to see the glass as half empty. Now please do NOT call me a pessimist. I am not a dooms day type person. I am not a kill joy. What I am is a REALIST. There is a difference. A realist sees life in its reality…the good and the bad. I think I’ve always been a realist and that is why I married an optimist. It must be a universal law or something. After all, can you imagine an optimist married to an optimist? That would be like Job in the Bible saying to his wife, “Oh, honey what a beautiful day it is!” while he lies in an ash heap scraping his boils with a pottery shard. His wife would happily reply, with a sweet smile,
“Yes, it is a great day Job, even though we’ve lost everything we’ve ever owned, not to mention all 10 of our precious children and you are covered from head to foot with painful, ugly boils.”
What about a realist married to a realist? Each night they would argue about their favorite topic over dinner, how the world was going to end. It might go something like this…
“Honey, I’m sure we’ll all be blown to kingdom come from the nuclear weapons out there. Might even happen tomorrow. “
“Oh, no honey, I’m just sure the sun will burn out and we’ll all freeze to death. After all, the scientists say…”
But in reality (pun intended) I’m not saying realists aren’t happy or fun or full of joy. I’m not saying one is better than the other. I’m just saying realists need to be surrounded by optimists and optimists need to be surrounded by realists. It’s about balance.
But I have a problem. As a realist, I now see life through cancer colored glasses. I see life through the lens of childhood cancer. Sometimes they are somewhat rosy and some days they are grey or even black. I see children’s lives marked with a greater uncertainty, their futures less sure. I sometimes think I spot recurrence in the corner of my left lens. I see physical damage done to a young innocent body. I remember the toxins pumped through my son’s blood system, so I’m often looking for possible future damage. I try to see my son’s life before living with a tracheotomy, g-tube feeds and thyroid medicines, but it’s pretty hazy with the lenses I now wear. I try to see a future for my son without sedations and esophageal dilations every 6 weeks. All of this, the collateral damage of cancer treatment.
There are days I find myself sliding to the pessimistic side. I’ve seen a little cynicism creep in too maybe even a little less joy as I wear these new spectacles. I don’t want to wear glasses. I’ve always had 20/20 vision, but not anymore. Unfortunately, it is impossible to take off these new glasses. And even more frightening is seeing my optimistic husband sometimes slipping to the pessimistic side.
So how do I keep myself from becoming a pessimist instead of a realist?
I must trust God, know His nature, being sure of His goodness and hold onto HOPE...
There is no end in sight except heaven...