Radiating in the Grey
I wish I had good news. It has been a gift to have my brother with me in Tel Aviv these past few weeks and we have shared some of our classic righteous laughs, impromptu songs, and fun experiences even in a semi-closed Tel Aviv. It has also been hard on a magnitude I have never experienced before. Josh described our experience together as us "bushwhacking through this unknown trail," as we digest the acceleration of Josh's cancer and the efficacy (or lack thereof) of this special radiation treatment that brought him around the world.
And so we are in between states (continents, really, from our parents and his wife and children). We have so much gratitude for the love and support that is pouring in, through our video chats, conversations, and assistance. And we are grief stricken to the core. Josh's cancer is ravaging his bones and my grief in bearing witness to his pain feels like it has grafted into my cells. This feels like a very wet time. We process our pain actively through tears and we are soaked in them. Tears of gratitude, pain, confusion, peace. When we aren't bushwhacking, we are canoeing down the river of our tears.
Not to mention the pandemic, which has us all living in a limbo state, making big and little decisions across the day to try to live meaningfully yet cautiously. The continuum of pandemic days is filled with grey; grey answers, grey moods, grey areas. Layer in for Josh an international travel quarantine, an almost continuous national lockdown, and serious radioactive isolations to top it off. These aren't even the hard parts.
Despite the grey Michigan weather, my parents wake up and put on nice clothes in bright colors, and shine big smiles on our video chats (they cry with us too). They are living their lives in color as best they can, and I really appreciate that. They are living in technicolor; same days, same distance, same circumstance, same sadness, bright souls! If you have ever wondered, this is the color of strength.
I realize that just because the Hurands are emotional doesn't mean we aren't strong as hell. We are separated through this, but we are together in other ways. We carry our grief loud and proud because we aren't afraid of it. Grief is a manifestation of our love and we have so much love! There is nothing to hide here, rather, our sadness is a light that shines on our blessings and joy. It only works this way I believe, because Josh has warrior strength. Honestly, have you ever met a more illuminated, bright soul? He is electromagnetic. If you know him, you know.
It's times like these where doing the best we can under the circumstances is something to be proud of. There is no winning, no resounding success. And certainly no easy route. The real strength is getting through the days, facing the sadness and sacrifices head on and still being able to savor the sweetness of the amazing lives we share with each other. These lives. Our lives. These days. This day. Today. Now. Every minute has a flavor and speed and we light it up. We are taking in and appreciating all the contours of who and what we encounter. The bright lights shine on them. We shine. The radiation has a half-life, but our spirits shine on and on and on.