Friday, April 19, 2013

Dear God

Dear God-
It’s more or less been a while. I am sorry I haven’t been a better communicator, which I know is surprising since so many of my co-workers (and friends) often wish I would shut up. I know I used to communicate with you more regularly. I attended synagogue regularly as a kid and prayed and led services for many years. And we used to talk every night before I fell asleep when I was in grade school. I think our relationship worked pretty well back then. I prayed for Marcy G. to become my girlfriend for three years and you somehow found the time to make a miracle of epic proportions (for me) when she agreed while she and I were in the fifth grade. OK, the relationship only lasted five days, but they were mostly magical days.

Anyway, I am writing to you now about something more serious than my love life. It’s about cancer. I don’t feel as if I’ve asked you for much lately—I probably didn’t pray enough when Verna was sick—but I do need your help.

We need to eradicate it right now. Today. And you’re the one to do it. I know it’s too late for Verna and Gayla and Deb and millions and millions of others whose lives were cut short or cruelly terminated by this wretched disease. I need you to end the suffering of those afflicted with cancer and their families and friends so anxious about what cancer means.

What do you think? Can you do it?
I had tea last night with a man whose wife died this past Valentine’s Day (really?!?). She had non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but died of septicemia while undergoing treatments for a recurrence of the disease. He has two kids, 11 and 5, and they, like Miguel and Maya, have to live a long time (God willing) without their mommy. He understandably still can’t get over losing his best friend, but he knows he can’t slow down because he has two daughters to parent. What’s up with that?

Over the past few months, I have encountered more and more people either with cancer, a relative with cancer, a friend with cancer, or someone who knows someone who knows someone who has cancer. Last summer, while the kids and I were vacationing back East, my father’s first cousin told me about a cousin of hers on her mother’s side who is 32 or 33, has a toddler (under three), and an adoring husband, and she has stage IV cancer. What’s up with that?
About three weeks ago I learned that one of the dads whose two kids go to Maya’s school has some kind of salivary or throat cancer. It’s rare and treatable, but the radiation alone is wreaking havoc with his life. Just walking a few hundred yards outside with his wife and dog taxes him for an entire day or more.

And there is my first cousin, Arlene, a sweet, sweet woman who has raised two kids basically by herself after her husband died during lung transplant surgery more than 15 years ago. She is undergoing treatments in Boston for a very rare nasal cancer. The prognosis is very good, but she has suffered enough. And so have her two boys, who are now young men.

So I don’t get it. I am not saying you owe me anything, and there are plenty of crises on this planet that deserve your attention. But, if you have any extra time for a little Earthly intervention, I would like you to consider eliminating cancer or, at the very least, helping us find a cure by the end of the month.
I don’t have much to offer, but I feel it is major in a spiritual development kind of way that I went from being a 34-year agnostic to a believer again. The world and the people in my immediate circles of life could certainly use a pick me up, a little joy and happiness, given what has been happening here and abroad. So why shouldn’t I be selfish and lobby you to end (or help us end) cancer?


Thank you very much.

Steve (you probably already know my Hebrew name means joy or happiness)


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