Monday, June 16, 2014

The Myth of Destiny

Good afternoon, gentle readers.
Today I'm going to talk about a friend of mine.
Last week she was diagnosed with second stage breast cancer.
The doctors tell her that they've caught it and that they expect her to make a full recovery. 
I don't know if my friend believes them.
You see, gentle readers, my friend's mother and grandmother both died from breast cancer, so I think this diagnosis has shaken my friend more than she'll admit.
We've been talking on the phone and I get the distinct impression that she's sort of soldiering on in the face of imminent doom.
She is one of my oldest friends, one of my best friends.  I love her very much and I think she is being a complete idiot.
Because, outside of fairy tales, there is no such thing as destiny.
Our lives are not preordained. We have free will.  That gives us power, the power to change what we do and how we do it.  The power to rail against the world and win.
My friend told me once that she thought she would die like her mother.  She said it so casually, so matter-of-factly, the way you or I might say, 'The weather is nice today.'
Thinking about it now, the way she said it sends chills down my spine.
It was just so accepting of this imagined fate and now, well, circumstances seem to be colluding to engineer that fate.
She has suddenly come, face to face, with the reality of this bad dream.  And I am afraid that this belief of hers, that this is how she will die, that it is inevitable, will impede her recovery.  That she will not fight to recover, to live, as fiercely as she should, as I know that she can.
I hope my friend is going to read this. I hope that it makes her angry that my perception of her is so skewed and wrong, that she'll call me up and rant and rail at me and tell me I'm an idiot.
I hope I am.
I hope she does.
Because I love her and I don't want to lose her to this awful thing.
What next?
Who knows?

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