PJ’s mom, Audrey, died last night. She had choked on a hot dog earlier in the week and stopped breathing. It took 20 minutes to revive her, and by that time, the damage to Audrey’s brain was severe, having gone so long without oxygen. After three days on life support, PJ made the decision with her brother and sisters to pull the plug, and end her mother’s life.
The juxtaposition of that impending decision, with a moment PJ and I shared with our daughter earlier in the week, seemed to provide a perspective on things. The pure joy of watching Jasmine dance in her ballet class brought life to the numbness of thinking about Audrey laying in that bed.
It seems to me that the way of things in life have rhythm. The way of things in life have balance. For every tear that’s shed, a smile is cracked. For every life that’s taken, a new one is born. We are all people just being. We are humans being. En masse we are a symphony of life, and death, and colour, and love.
If we can take a few steps away from our own individual lives, we may gain a perspective, a chance to see the symphony playing all around us. With enough perspective, we might see all the way back to the beginning of time.
I carry a physics book with me wherever I go. I’ve been reading it for a year and just can’t seem to get through it. I don’t really have a mind that’s wired for physics, but still, I carry it. I carry it because I believe there’s poetry in that book. You see, there are 19 sub-atomic particles that we know of. These particles in various combinations make up everything that is around us including, the food we eat, the earth we walk upon, the stars we gaze at, and the galaxies which contain them. Our bodies are also made from these same sub-atomic particles. 12 billion years ago, all of the particles in the universe that ever existed, that ever will exist, were all packed densely into one small spec of matter that would fit on the tip of your finger. In other words, the universe was, at one time, so small, you could hold it in your hand.
Think about that for a second. The stuff that’s inside you right now, was rubbing up against the stuff that’s now inside a star, billions of light years away. The stuff that’s inside you right now, was at one time, rubbing up against the stuff that’s inside me. It seems to me that we are all connected to everything in the universe, including each other, and those who came before us.
When I think about it that way, I feel a little more humbled, a little less petty. Big problems seem kind of small. There’s no guarantee that tomorrow will come. No guarantee that we’ll wake up in the morning. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you change today?
I would like to wish each of you peace, love, and happiness. Please find a moment to celebrate the good things you have. Send some goodness out on the vibe line.