photo by Mr Z
This piece was written by Mr. Z a few weeks before he so unexpectedly passed on to be with the Lord. He wanted me to share it with friends then and I think he’d have liked for me to share it with you today. We were going to post this before he died so unexpectedly; he prepared it more anonymously as if it were from a friend because we didn't want it known that he was ill quite yet, but now I can print it as he wrote it. I hope you'll all be blessed by it.
“Survival Guide......or The Worth of a Life”
There’s a Russian, one of the richest men in the world, who owns a yacht worth $850 million and the English soccer club FC Chelsea. I am sure he knows a lot of people in the ‘in crowd’, but I fear these people would drop him like a hot potato if he lost all his riches. I am saying this because at the end of the day he will face the Almighty with just a shirt on, like everybody else, but very likely with nothing else to speak of. Sadly, “empty” would probably characterize him correctly.
These thoughts came to my mind recently when I was thinking about my situation. I have a very grave illness and, when you are in a situation like this, you think about the meaning of life and whether it is really worth fighting for. I am well aware that there are people with more serious problems than the ones I am facing; as a matter of fact, we don’t have to look too far beyond our own circle of friends for that. But every situation is individually different and I can only speak for myself. I have invented a “Misery Factor“ with a scale of 1 to 10 to assess my situation, 10 being the worst. If I didn’t take chemotherapy, I am sure that, over the short or long term, it would approach a 10 permanently. With the therapy, it appears that the factor can be kept in check, and we will be able to see over time whether the corresponding blood values return to normal. I am optimistic. But I have to step back for a moment and explain what keeps me going.
The first factor is the doctors. After the first symptoms, it took quite a while to correctly diagnose this extremely rare disease. I was very touched by the concern and care these doctors showed in their almost zealous drive to find out what was wrong. I was also extremely impressed that these excellent doctors put their egos aside and consulted with other doctors when they felt like their amazing talents had hit a wall. This team of doctors ultimately got me to the one specialist in the LA area who deals with this illness – and he implemented immediately this chemotherapy with which he has had some good results in other patients. My point is: If they are personally that concerned about me and encourage this strenuous treatment, how can I not go for it?
But there is another, even more important reason. First of all, the care which I receive from my dear wife makes it possible for me to survive this ordeal at all. Not that I hadn’t expected that, but it has also brought us even closer together. In addition, I had never imagined such an outpouring of prayers and help keeping up my morale from my family and friends here, my family and friends overseas, and from many, many people whom I have never met or even heard of, through prayer chains, cards, emails and calls. This is unconditional love and concern and it comes in an avalanche which I would have never thought possible. It truly has caught me by surprise – but it shouldn’t have surprised me really, knowing the tightly knit family, the many old friends, and the religious roots of many of our (and mostly my wife’s) friends.
This clearly gives me the feeling that not only am I still needed and cared for on this earth, but that I will not stand with empty hands and only a shirt on when the time comes, facing the Almighty in whom my faith has solidified and who has always come through for me and my wife. This is a very comforting feeling and strongly confirms what is really important in life – it is certainly not the biggest yacht, or ownership of a soccer team; those things will mean nothing when any of us meets our Maker.
Hug your wife or husband, cherish them even on the days that's the last thing you feel like doing. Be optimistic, have faith, never complain, and remember that THINGS don't matter. For Mr. Z's sake.......
I hope this piece Mr Z wrote touches you as it has so many of our 'real life' friends. Thank you for your amazing supportive comments since his passing and, please, take a little time to read some of MR Z'S OPINIONS on my side bar from time to time, when you can.......I'd like his pieces to be remembered. Thanks, everybody. Z.
Mr. Z's funeral is Sunday, please pray for calm for me and that all goes well. xxx
I will be posting next week on what my Mr. Z died from and will be informing people of the early symptoms of his rare disease.....for his sake. I think he'd like it if he helped others discover this rotten disease early enough that they can live. Please come back some time next week. thanks. Z
And, PLEASE do not use my real name here on the blog; for some reason people I know off the blog are suddenly commenting and I can't have our real names here, sorry. I'll have to delete, though you're all so kind to comment.