I have a list of diseases that I hate the most. I hate them because I have no way to fight them. I have no power against them. I push back and push back, but they don’t budge. They laugh in my face. They know my weakness and they gloat. All the while taking the patient’s life an inch at a time. Slowly. While I watch. Helplessly. I feel the burning stares of the patient and their families.
Why can’t she help me? Why can’t she fix this?
I know a thing or two about resistance. Doctors invented it. We fight and resist against the inevitable.
People look to us to do the impossible. Death is coming for us all, there is no way to fight it, but yet we all still resist. We all want just one more day. Just one more chance. We want to be able to fulfill our purpose, to make the moments count, to have made a difference. When we die, all our work on this planet is over. We don’t want to be left out. We don’t want to be forgotten. How can the earth continue to exist without us?
To be forgotten. As if all the struggle was for nothing. All the angst, the sacrifice, the sleepless nights, the turmoil, the work. All for nothing.
I am not sure I believe that. Sometimes, I’ll look at my children without them realizing it. I wonder who they will become, what will they do with their lives, who will they fall in love with? Will they make a difference in the world? I know that the sum total of all of my experiences and life lessons and those of my husband’s are for them. Everything that I am and have done are a gift to them. I offer them my back, they may step on it, and reach even higher than me.
I resist death for myself and others. Just one more day, one more week, one more month, one more year, one more decade and on and on to make a difference in the lives of those we love and those that seek our help. Continue to fulfill my purpose. To do good work. To be a force in the world for good.
Even when resistance seems pointless. Even stupid. Even when others ask, why bother? You can’t fix it. You can’t change it. Just accept it.
On my deathbed, I’ll accept it, but for now, I will continue to resist.