I never knew Carla Zilbersmith, although I wish I had. I learned about her from the e-mails updating her condititon at Los Medanos College where we both work. Carla is dying from ALS. The e-mail today talked about her last blog post. I almost didn't read it, but somehow felt compelled to ... as if I owed it to her.
The title of her blog says, "Carla is a mother, humorist and writer. She writes about life, art, politics and the things that scare her."
Death is apparently not one of those things. This is just a snip of what she has to say:
"I learned a lot from my experiences with ALS, as well as my experiences writing this blog. Almost everyone has a story of loss or longing and almost everyone desires a way to find meaning in our lives that whirl past us so quickly. Almost all of us count our loved ones as our most cherished commodity and yet, so many of us don’t have or make time to spend with them. We want to stop and smell the roses, we want to fully embody gratitude in our hearts and minds, we want to be the best ‘us’ we can be, and yet the road is beset with detours and roadblocks.You owe it to yourself to read this, and perhaps the others that chronicles this amazing woman's life and journey with ALS. What would you write if you knew it was your last blog?
I will gradually fade in people’s memories, so that even my son or my dad will have to look at a video or a picture to remember what I looked like and what I sounded like. This blog, whether it becomes a book or not, will be relegated to the shelves of both minds and/or libraries. Nothing lasts forever. The formidable boulder becomes a grain of sand swept away into the sea. All we have is now. I’m going to keep making the most of my now. I’m going to try to avoid preemptive sadness and I’m going to urge people who read this to…
I don’t believe that to everything, there is a purpose. I don’t believe in a logical, just universe. I believe in randomness. Having said that, if me dying has been helpful to anyone or made anyone realize the depth of love they have for this world or for the people around them, then I’m pretty pleased about that. I’m also really stoked that I’ll be eternally good-looking. Personally, I was not looking forward to arthritis, jowls, cellulite, or the inability to recognize when I was wearing too much perfume.
I have decided that while Mac and others may continue to post, this will be my final post. I’ve said everything I want to say and everything comes to an end. ALS has been calling most of the shots, but not this one. I get to decide when this great experience called the blog is over and I call it. It’s over.
It’s been an honor to have people read and comment on this blog. Thank you for everything you have taught me and for all of the kind words that have lifted my spirits. News will continue through this blog, including specifics about my funeral, which I guarantee you will be the world’s most hilarious funeral ever conceived by man ... but you already knew that, didn’t you?"
Carla, Goodbye and thanks for leaving some words of wisdom for the rest of us ...