Stop running away from the life you don’t want

When I was a little girl, and my brother was dying, I used to pray to the moon before bed every night. I figured God lived there. From my bedroom window on the second floor of our townhouse, I could see to the tops of the trees spread out like thousands of fingers in the patch of woods beyond our yard. Our neighbor would often set frozen chicks out on a post to entice an owl, so most nights, there’d be an owl sitting on one of those limbs, silhouetted by the moon, waiting for a meal.

“Please God,” I would pray so hard, “let one of your angels come and sit on my bed. I promise I won’t tell anyone. I promise not to be scared” Sometimes I prayed so hard, I’d cry.

I’m not sure why it was so important to me that an angel come sit on my bed. Maybe it was because I believed that my brother would be an angel soon, and I wanted to know that I could still see him sometimes even after he died.

Like most nine-year-olds in that situation, I bargained with God for what I wanted. I would have run to California, never stopping to sleep or eat, if it meant my brother could live. Because of his disease, Robbie would have seizures and projectile vomit. We would catch his vomit in these plastic cereal bowls. Once, I looked out at that moon and I said I would drink his throw up if it meant he could be OK.

When we were little, we didn’t run away from our lives. We ran towards what we wanted. When it mattered, it was never about wallowing over current miseries. It was all about knowing what we wanted and wanting it so badly, that it hurt horribly until we got it. Even if we never got it. Eventually, we would find something else to want so bad.

So this got me thinking… Wouldn’t the world be more beautiful, and wouldn’t food taste better, and wouldn’t sex astound us, and wouldn’t breathing be a joy, if instead of running AWAY FROM our lives, we ran TO the lives we wanted?