Pondering Impermanence

A while back I mentioned here that my father had been sick. He hadn’t seen a doctor in eons and when he finally went to get a check up something was amiss. The doctor saw some blips on an x-ray/ ultrasound and it turned out he had multiple cancers.

He has recovered, so far…

He and my mother moved to Florida a couple years ago, but right now he is on Cape with us for the summer since work has slowed for him on Florida. He’s opened up a bit about the experience he went through, and the experiences to come when he gets back to Florida. He has a long way to go with treatment. Not for the cancer though, but after Vietnam he received a blood transfusion and it was tainted. I’m getting a little to deep into detail here, just wanted to give you some small background.

I’ve been thinking over the past day or two about what he has coming up for him, and the fact the doctor already told him once he wouldn’t make it past Xmas (of 2008). While he is definitely resilient, and feels the need to get prepared in case he does leave my mother unexpectedly, he is definitely not the strong man I remember growing up.

Knowing what the treatment can do to him, and the fact he will be dealing with it in Florida worries me a bit. I’ve been pondering the truths of impermanence especially lately because of all this. I understand the inevitably of death, and have dealt with a couple people that were close to me passing recently, this one is a bit bigger though.

Him being here on Cape for the summer has given me a brighter outlook. If the time comes sooner than later, this summer will be good for my kids to really spend time with him, as well as myself and my brothers (and their kids). Rather than stew in a soup of misery and pity of the impending event, it seems a bit healthier to focus on the time right now that we have with him. I am grateful for that, more than I ever thought I could be.

I’ve just begun to really, truly understand what impermanence is. Yes, it’s a simple teaching, but it is more profound I think. Impermanence, plainly defined, is the end of all things, and everything does have an end– impermanence does not discriminate. But, I have begun to feel that each lesson in impermanence is so much different than the last. We may be able to cope and understand this one, but what about the next? I guess you could just say don’t worry about it, that’s the future, deal with the now (cliche I know). For me, dealing with the now is making this lesson in impermanence much easier to bear.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing – and my thoughts go to you and your family. My father had some scares this past year, and this made me think of that, and what the future holds for all of us. Daily reminders of impermanence is what keeps us holding closer to the “Now”…hang in there.

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