Friday, May 6, 2011

Mayo and mayhem

I wish I had celebrated Cinco de Mayo yesterday. I’m pretty sure that’s some sort of holiday that celebrates the wonders of mayonnaise. I’m a fan of mayonnaise, but it has to be really, really good mayonnaise. Miracle Whip does not qualify—it should be abolished. If you eat Miracle Whip I’ve lost all respect for you. The universe should be divided into two camps: (1) good mayonnaise (like Hellman’s) people and (2) Miracle Whip people. Miracle Whip people should be sent to live on an island with their beloved Miracle Whip and should not be permitted to communicate with civilized people. Truthfully I’ve even grown beyond Hellman’s and I now prefer a pricey mayo called Lemonnaise that I have found only at Whole Foods. So call me a mayo snob—I don’t care.

I've done a lot more praying than cooking lately. At least sometimes I think about food. But truthfully I’m writing this silly stuff about mayonnaise to distract me from what I’m really feeling. What I’m really feeling is that I want to run away from home. I’ve had it, done, no more, Lord, please no more. For a month now I’ve been trying to absorb the loss of my brother—his senseless murder on April 3rd is incomprehensible. Little things hit me now. Like I just wrapped a Mother’s Day gift for my aunt and signed the card, “with love from Joan, Mike, Steve, and Donna.” No Mark. For the first time I had to acknowledge with pen and paper that my brother Mark is not one of the siblings, he is not among the living. How can that be? I went to his funeral, I’ve cried my eyes out, I’ve received many lovely sympathy cards, but it all feels like a bad dream.

But what’s getting to me is the piling on of bad stuff in addition to my brother’s murder. My friend Trish tells me that astrologically things are totally messed up. A bunch of planets are hanging out in a dangerous neighborhood and things won’t calm down until the middle of next week. It can’t come too soon.

People are getting divorced and having miscarriages and getting cancer. For example, my friend Mike had surgery on Tuesday for mesothelioma. His right lung was removed, tumors were removed from his diaphragm and elsewhere, and something around his heart was reconstructed. That’s serious surgery! That’s not like going to the doctor and having a wart removed. After four days he’s still in ICU and now he’s been in a crisis with heart issues (atrial fibrillation). Only a few months ago he was training horses and playing the guitar and living a pretty normal life. Now he’s in the ICU at Johns Hopkins breathing with one lung, hooked up to monitors, being pumped with drugs.

My son is in London on business and he developed a bad eye infection. My friend’s son got suspended from school. Another friend lost her job months ago and can’t find work. My sister had botched oral surgery and now has to have reconstructive plastic surgery to rebuild the roof of her mouth. My daughter’s cat has stomach cancer and probably will have to be put down soon. A relative has developed Alzheimer’s disease. There are a thousand other things, large and small, things that I promised to pray about but the prayer list is so long now that important things are slipping off the list because of the sheer volume.

Honestly, I’ve been telling the Lord that I’m overwhelmed, that I simply can’t take another tragedy, another worry, another sad story. I tell Him that I don’t believe that He only gives you as much you can handle. He has seriously overestimated my capacity.

My solution is to run away from home, go where trouble can’t find me. Wonder how far I’ll have to run.

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