The Human Will

We were stopped at the quiet intersection and the traffic light turned green.  Although it was green, my aunt didn’t move the car as we observed what looked like a homeless man crossing the street in front of us.  He was dirty and trudging his feet along the pavement almost falling more than a couple of times in a drunken stupor.  He held a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag and had no idea we were even waiting for him to cross.  The four of us in the car were watching him and shaking our heads in both pity and disbelief.  The scene we observed was in stark contrast to the mission the four of us had just accomplished minutes before.

My aunt Iris, my cousin Ajia, my photographer extraordinaire friend Jade, and I had set out about an hour and a half before to take Ajia’s senior pictures for her high school graduation.  My cousin had brought along about a million outfits to change into and looked absolutely beautiful in every one.  Young people look good in everything, don’t they?  We went to the tennis courts for her varsity tennis shots.  We went downtown to capture some casual shots and headed to the Watergarden, one of the most beautiful spots in my hometown, to get shots of her with her glorious cello.  Ajia beamed from ear to ear and posed for Jade with such poise and confidence it was all I could do to keep from crying.  I was 13 when she was born and have watched her grow from a tenacious, adorable little girl into an intelligent, beautiful young lady on the cusp of her life’s dreams and possibilities.  My heart was bursting with pride.  My aunt and I fussed and fawned over her as Jade worked her camera magic into what are sure to be the best senior pictures that ever lived.  The last stop for pictures was at a spot we randomly picked.  Jade took her last shots of Ajia on a set of railroad tracks leading into the evening sunset.  My aunt and I waited in the car as the seagull-sized mosquitos were out for blood by then.  We watched my cousin on the railroad tracks and I thought to myself, ‘How fitting.  To think that railroad tracks lead out of town, lead somewhere else like a journey and Ajia is just about to go on hers.  How fitting.’

We finished up and started driving back home to my aunt’s house.  This is the point in my story when we came across the homeless man.  The stark contrast of one life with so much promise and another life thrown away was so obvious in that moment that we were awestruck.  Had a tragic set of events transpired in this man’s life for him to have fallen so far?  What had happened to his human will to live?  Why did he give up?

The human will is an anomaly.  An anomaly by definition is something that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify.  Just as my cousin’s will to succeed and discover herself is growing, this man’s will to live and prosper was dead.  ‘How can that be?,’ I thought.  Of course my thoughts led to my own situation compared to his.  How can I be fighting for my life and every minute I get to be alive and he just throws his away like its nothing, like its worthless?  I’ll admit that then my pity turned into indignant anger.  I did not choose to get cancer.  I did not choose this path my life has taken and yet it was given to me.  I wanted to get out of the car and run up to him and shake him.  Shake some sense into him but what good would that have done?  None I’m guessing.  I see now that not everyone places the same value on their own life.  I know the value of my life has gone up considerably in my own eyes over the past few months.

Not that I didn’t value my life before cancer but those were easier times.  I didn’t think too much about what impact my decisions had or what I put in my body, what I exposed it to.  Everything came easily to me and I had never really worked hard for anything in my life.  How can you value your life much that way?  My theory is that there comes a point in all of our lives where we are made to either care or give up.  But does it really have to come to that?  Why not make the decision early on to care and live your life like each day is your last? To live each day like you mean it, with definition.  I don’t know why I was dealt this hand but I’m doing the best I can.  I refuse to live an undefined life, no matter how long this life may last me.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12

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7 thoughts on “The Human Will

  1. Melinda Muniz says:

    Love this! My Dad and I was just talking about the same thing… I get so angry when I see someone abusing their body! I am here fighting for my life too… It
    really does suck!

  2. Wow! Just wow! You give us all so much to think about everytime you sit down to write. You are amazing, my sister! God bless you, and I still say there is a book in your future. Love you!

  3. Deb Yaeger says:

    Beautiful story! As I read this I was drawn to thoughts of my daughter and her College Grad pics that I took myself to save money. We drove around and found pretty places to take pictures all day and had so much fun. The wind blowing her cap time and time again and her silly & beautiful ways as she posed for pictures. One picture she bites the Cap SO Glad to be done! LOL
    I also was reminded of the folks I drive by that are standing on the street corner asking for money holding signs “I am homeless.” Do I believe them? I want to help and have at times given them a few dollars. It makes me mad to think that they would be “acting” homeless and helpless and taking advantage of Christian kindness just to support their “addictions” or laziness. Yes!! and I feel the same way as you it makes me question WHY? Why me? Why did my 7 yr old daughter get hit by a car, almost lost a leg, lived to carry the scars thank God. My only Sibling, my brother 26 dying in a car accident. My mother struck with Breast cancer and survived. I have to sit back and watch beautful people in my life (You and others) suffer and it breaks my heart. I want to shake some sense into folks also. I say I come to Texas and we just go around all day and Do just That! LOL
    Love you! Hang tough, keep the faith, prayers are with you daily!! MUAH!!! Deb

  4. Sarah Moore says:

    Hi Cristina! I’ve only met you briefly a couple of times through going to Zumba with my mom. I saw you again this past weekend at the Zumba benefit and just wanted to tell you how amazed I am at you. You are the picture of positivity, peace, and lovliness. Seeing you was just what I need to jumpstart my faith and put all the little nuisances that have been eating at me into perspective. Watching you, I couldn’t believe I was looking at a person who is supposed to be “sick”. I have complete faith that you’re going to beat this thing and I will pray for you daily. Thank you for being you!

  5. LaJuana C. says:

    You are one precious person. You have such a fabulous outlook on life and it shows thru your writing. Even the sarcasm!! Believe me. I get it!! True intelligent sarcasm like yours is a sign of superior intelligence. But you have a far more truer insight to living for two reasons….1 Your strong faith in the One who had the the most to lose, and He gave His only begotten Son for us all. 2 Your life experience.
    I was googling looking for chemo head coverings besides wigs. Somehow I stumbled onto your blog. And what a blessing it is. I was having a crying jag, for selfish reasons, feeling low. Ive been down this road before, six years ago. After all this time in unexpected glorious remission, my PET showed in Jan 2012 that this evil had reared its ugly head again. I can relate to you on so many levels.
    I live in Whitehouse Texas ( east Tx near Tyler)…….I have non-Hodgkins ….type…(Waldenstroms Macroglobulenemia..to be exact)…..have also made my second home at MDA on the 6th floor in Lymphoma/Myeloma Dept…..my doc is Donna Weber. Ihave absolute trust in her decisions and plans (after God, my Father). And as you know, we have the advantage of the knowledge and input of the whole team on our cases

    • LaJuana C. says:

      Like you, I suffered thru the port issues, got a blood clot at the sight, ended up as inpatient at MDA for this, later ended up as inpatient again for pneumonia because of low neutrophils. Had bone marrow harvest in 2003 and stem cell harvest in 2006, all frozen and waiting for my doctor to decide to use as a silver bullet one day. And today, June 2, my hair fell out. I have had one round of my new regimen…Rituxin, Cytoxan. Planning on 6 more rounds. Had 2Cda last time, but was too neutropenic, so she wont use it this time. I will pray for you and the desires of your heart for a child. Unlike you, I am not young and I have twoecious children, who are your age. To be selected to be one of the lucky ones to deal with this is difficult enough at my age, but so unfair at yours. While I firmly believe it is Gods Will and its just a season in our lives, I think God cares that we have our emotions about it because that makes us more dependent on Him. We have had so many miracles in our life, that my husband of 47 years and I, know God will work another. I will be healed of this one way or another, either here or in my eternal home. I am thankful for my new insight and out look on priorities, friends, loved ones and as you mention, understanding of empathy

      • LaJuana C. says:

        I am wondering if you are now in the throes of transplant? If so I am already thinking of you, and praying for successful and a miraculous outcome!

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