Saturday, May 16, 2009

the bread eaters

an email i sent to my support group

Hello everyone,

I trust all are doing well, however the truth is, we as a body are not. Hardship and pain and questions of why(?); are rampant within the support group both known to us and not, world wide. It hangs over us as a nation and as occupants of this planet we call earth. Make no doubt, cancer and medical affliction both old and new, as a whole, run rampant. Add to this, an increase in mans inhumanity to his fellow man (which personally I call EVIL); well, it just sometimes means the decisions we have to make, seem of little importance. Why do we have to choose? Why do we suffer? Why do we have to...? All questions asked by man from the advent of the 'first' sin to this very second as you read this.

Throughout history, man has asked...why do I suffer God? Why do I have to decide? One need to look no further than the book of Job within the Holy Bible to see an individuals struggle with these and other questions and the suffering that resulted from decisions made. Another example found in antiquity, this time by a group forced to make a decision is provided by Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph, son of Matthias) and, after he became a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian and apologist; who related the saga of Masada. I choose these examples with care as they are based in mans relationship with God and the bitter results from decisions which had to be made. Please do not try and make any connection to a “cult”, as none is inferred by me. My intent is to address decisions forced on us which are a result of malady and infirmity and our possible interaction between ourself and our 'higher power' which is a sad, sad Politically Correct euphemism for God.

If you would indulge me a moment I would like to share yet another story of decision and the price paid. One part history and one part Legend!

No one knows the time of appearance by the Pascagoula in what is now the southeastern portion of present day Mississippi. The name Pascagoula is a Mobilian Jargon term meaning "bread people". Choctaw native Americans using the name Pascagoula are named after the words for "bread nation". The Biloxi called them Pascoboula. As no vocabulary of their language has been preserved, nor their own tribal name, their ethnic relations are conjectural; but from their intimate connection from 1699 to the 19th century with the Biloxi, it is possible that they were Siouan. By accounts they were a very peaceful people.

The Pascagoula people were first encountered by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in 1699. By 1822 the tribe had moved north on the river away from the coast and their population had diminished to around 75 in total with 20 being 'braves'. Soon thereafter, they were lost to history probably hastened along the way by European diseases. As a matter of historical record, their final demise as a 'people' is unknown and somewhat a mystery.

And now; the legend:

The Pascagoula were know to be a peaceful, innocent and by accounts a very beautiful people who lived on one bank of the river. On the other bank lived the warlike Biloxi. The Biloxi considered themselves the 'first' peoples and were the natural enemy of the Pascagoula. It happened that the chief of the Pascagoula by the name of Altama was heart smitten by a princess of the Biloxi named Anola.

Anola was promised to a chieftain of her own tribe, but fled with Altama and his people. Now of course, this upset and hardened the heart of the Biloxi chief and he soon stirred his warriors to war against the Pascagoula people. The Pascagoula of course were drawn to their young chief and his bride as both were kind and popular. The tribe swore that the couple and their tribe would survive or go to their deaths with the couple. Upon arrival of the Biloxi, it was clear that the Pascagoula were out numbered and had no training nor inclination for war. It was fight to the death or submit to be a slave to the Biloxi tribe.

The tribe decided that enslavement was not an option so, with women and children in the lead, all holding hands as a people, they simply walked into the river and drowned. The people all sang as they walked into the dark waters and perished from the earth as a tribe.

To this day, people have said that they have experience a hearing of a strange and engaging death song like sound on the banks of what is now known as the “Singing” or Pascagoula River.

Why do I recount this little tale from early Native American history? It is simply another instance of when we as humans face something that just is not what we want to or are willing to endure. Now; religious ramification aside as pertains to Felo de se. Sometimes we just have to take charge of our condition, our quality of life and our medical well being. I have always as a matter of my own self, involved my family and loved ones in such instances. Involvement does not equate into indulgence or an absence of auscultation of my own decisions. It boils down to me in the end. No matter what that decision is. As I feel it does with all of us. No matter how ugly, how selfish or infuriating that decision is to others. Everyone who loves you wants you to say yes or OK I will. However, sometimes it is just to much to endure, to much to withstand.

It is between you and your God. No me, not you uncle, not your support group nor society. It is your pain, your fear, your body and your quality of life. After consultation with your doctors, after speaking with family, after advice and perspective of your support group; after preying to your God. Decide. Listen to your inner self. Your gut. It is you that has to have a reason to get out of bed each and every day you have and live that day as best you can. Find a reason. Do not be lost to history.

I love you all.

Be strong because Cancer sucks.

No comments: