Two Things on My Mind

Spiritual Smart Aleck


This week there are two things weighing on me, and I haven’t been able to settle on one for a column. When you write on a computer you don’t throw crumpled up pieces of paper on the floor, but that’s the kind of week it’s been.

Ten years ago, after Rick’s kidneys failed, he had several surgeries within a few months. He complained of brain fog, and we were told that surgery – anesthesia, especially – can do that to a person.

I’ve been thinking about his experience, because I’ve had lingering brain fog since my surgery and especially during and after taking pain pills following the surgery. I have found it hard to think. I have had these two things on my mind and couldn’t decide which to use as a subject. Finally wrote about both.

First, my friend LeAnna Lyons died on the sixth of September. I had four days to feel my feelings about her passing, and then I had to go have surgery. During those four days I ended up putting my face in my hands when a wave of grief hit me. Her death seemed to come so out of the blue.

LeAnna Lyons and Harry Gerecke

Then I had to have surgery, and after surgery I was on those stupid pills for pain. I could not think or feel much of anything for more than a week. Now the pills have worn off, and I have started feeling those waves of grief again. My funny, bright, talented friend is gone.
LeAnna was mysteriously sick for a few months, cancer was confirmed a week before she died, and then blink, she was gone.

I should know better at my age than to say, “That’s not fair!” but it stinks, and it is so not fair. She had so many good years ahead of her, and she was robbed, and so was her husband Harry, and so were her sisters and so was I and so were all her friends and relatives, everyone who loved her, and there are a lot of us. Now we notice all the times and places she isn’t there anymore, and we miss her. We will always miss her.

So, LeAnna’s untimely passing is on my heart and my mind, and it will continue to be for a long time.

I am tired of writing about people having cancer, and people dying of cancer, and my own experience with cancer.

The second thing on my mind is Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN. I was so inspired by that small young person. I mean, damn, girl, what you said. What willingness to speak truth to power. What cojones. It’s too late, the house IS on fire. Wake up!

Ms. Thunberg and all the people young and old around the world who are fighting to slow down climate change and turn it around gave me a feeling of hope which I have not felt for a long time. I have felt swamped by the dreary, banal evil that seems to have taken us over the last few years.

Greta Thunberg is not the only young climate change activist, but for the moment she is the most visible. After her speech the right-wing climate change deniers were all over her, vilifying her, calling her a Nazi and comparing her to Hitler, going so far as to dub in a Hitler rant as a soundtrack over video of her speaking.

Hitler again! I ask you. I wonder if Hitler’s ghost ever wants to come back and yell at us, “Stop calling people with whom you don’t agree Hitler! Study your history you morons! I engulfed all of Europe in war and was responsible for the terror, torture, slaughter, starvation, and suffering of millions! I wasn’t someone whom some people didn’t like because of my skin color or my refusal to ignore science. I was one of history’s worst human beings gone wrong. Stop diluting my evil by flinging my name around!”

He might say something like that.

So, those are the two main things swirling around my mind these days, the loss of my friend LeAnna, and the feeling of hope that humanity may save its own butt yet, despite all the heads that are up that butt.

I wish my children and my grandchild could live in good health and enjoy the beauties of the earth and nature. I wish this for everyone, for every creature.

Even slugs, whom I have learned recently have a hand in propagating moss. Nice to find out after all these years of believing slugs were godless creatures with no purpose that I was wrong.

Rest in peace, LeAnna. Go get ‘em, climate protesters.