I realize I have not posted in quite a while. I also realize that there are probably only two or three people who will read this post so it may not be necessary to point out that I have not written in a few weeks. Regardless, I’m back.
The reason I have not written for a bit is because something unexpected sort of popped into the lives of me and my family. That something is a cancerous tumor that lies beneath the surface of my younger brother’s skin. Seeing as he is 20 years old, I have to say that this was the last thing I expected when I heard my little brother was sick. This, of course, comes with the idea that you and your loved ones are invincible. Sure, cancer strikes, but it strikes those other people. It already took my grandfather and my cousin and that was enough for me. Now, here I sit, 1700 miles from home and feeling helpless. At this point, everything is out of my control and out of our hands, and let me tell you, this is not something my family is used to. We’re the kind of people that take matters into our own hands. It is rare we’ll ask for help. Now we have no choice.
As as atheist, these types of situations always tend to be made slightly awkward. My mom’s posting to facebook that God answered her prayers when we received the first bit of good news…that the cancerous tumor was only in the tissue, not on the bone as was initially thought. Perhaps she should have prayed that her son would not have cancer at all… One thing I know is that the tumor would have been the same whether she talked to her invisible friend or not. Still, I can see how prayer provides comfort to people in situations such as these. When the control is no longer in your hands, put it in God’s, right? For me, prayer does not provide comfort. It does the opposite, in fact. While I am not unappreciative of people’s kind words and thoughts, I’d rather they took action in a more proactive way. This is why I just made my first donation to the American Cancer Society, in the hopes that fewer and fewer people will have to be struck with the news that my family was struck with. While my brother’s cancer is said to be treatable at this point, I know there are many out there (myself included) who have lost loved ones to this deadly force. Of course, I am a graduate student living paycheck to paycheck, so my donation is nothing to brag about and I am not looking for any sort of recognition. I just ask that if you feel so inclined to pray for me or my family, pray for the oncologists, the surgical team, the nurses, the researchers, and those working around the clock to find a cure, and perhaps make a donation to supplement your prayers. I know that my brother is in good hands and these hands are not invisible and coming out of the sky. I choose to give credit where credit is due.