I'm still not really over how weirded out I felt the day that Lady Diana and Mother Teresa both died.
I felt it again when Jack Layton died.
About a week ago, I learned that a close friend of our friends died of cancer after just a few weeks of hearing his diagnosis.
On Monday morning, a young woman died in a vehicle accident in the Steinbach area.
On Monday afternoon, my daughter Jane came down the stairs to tell me that two bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon.
On Tuesday, my sister came over for lunch. She said; "You heard about Marge Friesen?"
No. I had not.
Cancer. Two weeks.
Then she told me about the young woman who had died on Monday. I serve on the board with that woman's grandfather. My kids go to school with her cousins. I grew up with her father.
Today, the radio told me that Rita McNeil has died.
I'm mad. And rattled.
I know what's coming, and its more of the same. My dad will be ninety-one if he makes it to July. Sometimes I wish he wouldn't. My mom will be eighty-seven. She's still doing fine, but who am I kidding. If Lady Di and Rita McNeil and a 20 year old are dead, mom might not make it through tonight. I might not either.
I know I"m not unique. I'm no original thinker, and certainly not the first forty-something year old to ponder the length and meaning of life. There's nothing new about noticing that life is short and death abrupt and unexpected. I have no lesson to teach, no quote to indent about the meaning of life and the importance of living each day to its fullest.
In fact, today I just wanted everyone to go lie down in a hole. I was mad about Rita McNeil and Old Man Winter and my head cold. I was tired of talking about indoor voices when by all things bright and beautiful we should have been playing loudly out in the back yard for weeks now. I certainly wasn't trying to live this day like it was my last, which, by the way- is one of the dumbest things anyone could say. Everyone should definitely stop saying that because if today was my last day, I certainly wouldn't be making sandwiches and taking out the garbage or vacuuming the porch for the nine-hundred-millionth time.
So I'm pretty much in a really bad mood, and sort of mad at everyone for not fixing everything for me. I'm mad that life can be boring, and people disappointing, and nights can be too short. I'm mad that people die and that other people live and that everyone is going to get on some immediate, reactive rant about Muslims after this nightmare event in Boston. I'm mad that we live in fear, don't listen to one another, and that no one cleans the bathroom floor except me. And that no one cleans any other part of the bathroom except for me. I'm mad that the dog peed on my furniture, and that kids jumped on my other furniture, relegating two more armchairs to the garage to await their demise on town wide clean-up day.
Sometimes its so deeply satisfying to just be mad and grumpy. To not agonize over trying to find a silver lining. If my eight year old kid was standing at the end of a marathon, cheering on the runners, and then dropped dead because his little body got pounded full of bits of metal, I wouldn't mind knowing that someone, somewhere was just going with the mad.
Just don't try to get me to hate someone. Cuz that will make me mad.
And don't tell me that Rita died because she was too fat. That'll make me really mad. Nobody ever says that a movie star died from being too skinny, even though its probably true.
I'm mad. I'm mad at people with all their pat answers and little ditties and optimisms. I'm mad at all those other people for stewing around in their hatred, intolerance, judgements, and general pissiness. I'm mad at people for trying to say the right things, and I'm mad at the people who aren't even trying. I'm also mad that I don't have answers or constructs or boxes or cliches.
I'm mad that people are blowing each other up. I'm mad that we think its so unjust that it happens in the US when meanwhile, the US has also been perpetrating this same sad, inhumane, destructive, horrible death on civilians in other corners of the world. I'm super mad when people post pro-gun shit on facebook, mad enough to wonder how on earth I could have someone like that on my friend list. I'm mad about a fertilizer plant in Texas blew up, killing a bunch of people, and flattening out people's homes. I'm mad that love doesn't seem to be winning. We're raping the earth, raping each other. We're greedy, selfish, oppurtunist cattle. We work for a living so that we can go buy stuff at Wal-Mart, and then we're frustrated and mad that maintaining and paying for all our stuff takes up all our time.
I'm really mad about my own inadequacy, my own lack of tidy answers, my own greed.
I only hope that this is the kind of anger that burns off some chaff, and propels me in the direction of less compacency. I hope I can still be kind to the gun-lovers and the Muslim-haters.
Mad isn't necessarily Bad.
So for right now,