Life Is Life

by | May 19, 2009 | Family, Marriage

“Life is life.” My wife said that to me once in an effort to help me deal with a challenge I was facing at the time.

Well, here’s a little bit of life.

In my last message I mentioned to you that we were going to the Bloomsburg Fair. It truly is one of the highlights of our year. A perfect place to celebrate the last day of summer and the bountiful memories we harvested throughout the year since the last visit.

With much excitement and anticipation we hurried through our morning chores on Saturday and rushed out the door.

The first hour was like old times. We always park in the same section. We always enter through Gate 5. We always head to Top of the Beef for the best roast beef sandwich anywhere.

It was perfect. Then things changed.

I also updated you on my family. Since I often write about them and have turned to you for prayer during our most challenging times, I feel like we are “old friends I’ve never met.”

Something spoke to me Friday and said tell them how they are doing. I reported everything was just great.

Things changed on Saturday. Well, maybe they didn’t change. Maybe we were just reminded that “life is indeed life.”

Normally we would walk around the entire fair once and then return to places we wanted to see again before we left for the day.

This time we couldn’t even make it around once. In fact, we stopped at least six times because we had to.

Marianne’s fibromyalgia ripped into her with a vengeance. My own new physical limitations offered little support to her. At one point she was so pale we thought she was going to pass out. Her hot flashes brought on by her cancer treatment caused her to sweat so profusely that I ran to a nearby restroom to get wet towels.

Life is life.

We sat there not saying a word. We didn’t need to. We know each other so well after 18 years that we speak without saying a word. We suddenly came to the conclusion that life will never be exactly as it was before. Our visits to the fair will be limited and we need to be better prepared. But in new yet undiscovered ways we will learn to find joy in other ways.

I wish I could blame it on old age. But she is only 48 and I am 57. These things were somewhere in the distant future.

Life is life.

I also updated you on Keith and Sarah. I said they had not begun another attempt at having a child and I had no idea when or even if they would.

They stopped by today. “We will be trying again next month,” he said.

We were cautiously happy for them. As I mentioned, this past few months have been a challenge for them because two babies were born within about a month’s time to Sarah’s brothers. I worried and watched Keith graciously try to celebrate each birth. He was genuinely happy for them and held both babies with a longing, aching heart.

“If there is anything we can do, just call me,” I said to him today.

An few hours after they left the phone rang.

I was cutting the grass as Marianne came into the yard waving the phone.

“It’s Keith!” She said.

There was a softness in his voice. The kind of tone I’ve heard all too many times as he struggled with life issues.

“What’s up?” I asked.

He then proceeded to tell me that Sarah’s sister announced today that she is expecting.

Keith walked into a brick wall.

“Keith…life goes on for everyone else. It doesn’t wait for the playing field to be level and fair,” I said with that fatherly tone I am supposed to have at times like this.

But this one hurt. Not to diminish the joy and sacredness of the announcement, but the first words out of my mouth when I hung up was, “Ah, come on God! Give him a break!”

Then I heard, “Life is life.”

He was given the ultimate “break” in life. He was given his life back when the cancer odds were against him. He is a remarkable man with a wonderful wife. He has been given more breaks than most.

And I humbly asked God to forgive me.

So, here they go again. I will worry. It is my job. I will pray, beg, negotiate, plead and bargain with God just like I did when he faced cancer.

And here we go again. Facing yet another challenge in our life as husband and wife. The truth is she could have died from her cancer, too. If life says we just have to move slower, walk shorter distances or sit in one place, I will love it because I will be sitting with the love of my life and watching Keith’s children head off to the fair.

“Life is life”

Bob Perks


Life Is Life