It's a Beautiful Day - Am I a hopeless case?

March 24, 2023

Edited March 27, 2023

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away" sings Bono. "But how beautiful a day is it?" I've asked myself every day for almost 7 years. I have lived some beautiful days in my 52 years, but in the recent past, I struggle to remember having lived any. Other than a few fleeting moments where I saw my son at Christmas or for Father's day, or shedding tears together with him at the end of the "Elvis" movie this past summer, my days are overall quite lacking in beauty. I'd settle for just an "average day" every day, to be honest. You see when you suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses, unless you are a Saint, it's quite hard to cut through the suffering and have beautiful days. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that's true, but the beholder needs to be capable of experiencing the beauty.

I just watched "A Sort of Homecoming," a fantastic, beautiful, touching, and heartfelt documentary with David Letterman hosting Bono and The Edge in a very special, somewhat "unplugged" show edited with interviews and other wonderful snippets of life in Dublin—absolute poetry from beginning to end. Thanks to the brilliance of the music and commentary, I saw beauty. I was able to float away on a wave of emotions that were all laced with beauty. Bands like U2 are more than just rock' n' roll bands. They are conduits to another place, another time, where people find themselves feeling even better than the real thing and where the streets have no name. If you've never seen them live, you are missing out on what can only be described as a spiritual experience. To quote Bono, they are like a chemistry set, one that interacts directly with its audience, touches them, moves them, and takes them to another place where no one feels like a hopeless case.

Saint Jude, am I a Hopeless Case?

Speaking of hopeless cases, I recently learned that St. Jude was the patron saint of hopeless cases. Interestingly, I attended a catholic grade school called St. Jude Elementary, and seeing how my life has turned out, I've started wondering if I am not a hopeless case. Not hopeless in an incorrigible way, but rather as it pertains to my chronic deteriorating health, which seems to have no end in sight. Several people have told me "Don't lose hope"; however, grasping at those words is not easy when you get to that hopeless place. 

Saint Jude, patron saint of lost causes

I'm having a very difficult time with my physical and mental health. So many things have gone sideways in my life, and I have had to deal with significant losses in all areas of my life. I ask questions like: "Why am I here?", "What on earth has happened to me?", "Why do I suffer so much?" and "When will this nightmare be over?" Living with degenerative diseases and chronic pain is no picnic, as some of you already know, and it starts to play tricks on the mind. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.03 billion people live with chronic pain. Perhaps you can relate to what I'm talking about.

How much my life has changed in the last 10 years is incredible. Dealing with loss as we get older becomes an almost daily experience. Someone I know, a friend of our family, recently chose to end her life with the support of Medical Aid In Dying after a difficult battle with cancer. Her case was undeniably a hopeless one. But being hopeless and feeling hopeless are two different things - which am I?

Learning about St. Jude got me thinking, so I continue fighting daily. Even though I am not a practicing Christian or someone who prays, I believe in the power of prayer, even if it just helps manage some of the despair. And now that I've discovered St. Jude, I feel a little less hopeless. I've started praying that I may be saved from the causeway that millions of hopeless and desperate people have trodded upon for millennia. I will hope and pray because even though I may believe I am a hopeless case, maybe, just maybe, I'm not.

Beautiful Day – U2

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town

You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere

You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day (Oooh, ooh)

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me love
I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out

See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

Day, Day
Day, Day

It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have, you don't need it now
What you don't know, you can feel it somehow
What you don't have, you don't need it now
Don't need it now
Was a beautiful day


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