I'm watching The Larry Sanders Show, one of my favorite series of all time on IFC. Halfway through there's a scene with Gene Siskel. I realize, "Oh, he's dead." He's in the backstage hallway having a condescending conversation with John Ritter. "Oh, he's dead too; how ironic."
The last guest to come on the show within the show is Warren Zevon. "You're kidding me? He's also dead. And one of my favorite musicians. What are the odds?...he died of cancer..."
As the show closes and the credits roll, I think about my friends battling cancer. I look over and see my terminal greyhound Cleo. I try to keep these heavy and oh-so real emotions at bay most of the time. But as I am sitting on the couch, the family in bed; I can feel the wave sneak upon me. It starts in the back of my head, comes over my cranium, warm behind my eyes, then sensitivity in my nose. Tears.
It's just me and the dog in the living room so I don't fight it. It's always safe to cry in front of a dog. Maybe that's one of the silly reasons we get so attached to them. Death comes and death goes. And now it feels like it's moving in for a season.
Sometimes I wonder if God designed tears to be a pop-off valve to keep us from blowing up. Sometimes I think tears help us offload some of the weight that we carry--the weight we're supposed to let God shoulder. And sometimes I think tears just remind me that I'm human and have my limits.
And sometimes tears are foreshadowing. I mean I only teared-up a little; I didn't sob. But when it's time to put the dog down. When all of my friends don't beat cancer. Then. Then, there will be real tears. Death has been, is and will be. And yes, my incomparable Savior has defeated it. But in earthly terms, we still have to weather it. Tears.
Here's to Gene, John, Warren, Cleo...and my courageous friends and their families.