Up until this week I had never even heard the name Roger Ebert. In the past few days I have learned so much about his uplifting story and I'm happy to say that he is truly an inspiration. I can't imagine still being positive after losing the ability to eat, drink and most importantly in my personal opinion, the ability to talk. To not be able to express yourself vocally seems terrifying. I'm a shy girl most of the time but once I start talking to you I don't stop. Even on those days where I don't want to ever speak, I still have the option and I think that's important. Roger Ebert was able to rise above not being able to vocally express his thoughts and he evolved.
He started a blog and I recently read one of Ebert's posts called "All the Lonely People." His words written in that blog speak to me on a personal level. I, like most other people, have experienced loneliness. Maybe not the all encompassing loneliness that some people face but definitely some variation of it. We need someone else to know we are there. We need to be acknowledged because we need to know we are visible. A quote from Ebert's post that I loved sums loneliness up perfectly. "Someone once said the fundamental reason we get married is because have a universal human need for a witness." The part about needing a witness could not be more true. It doesn't have to be marriage, we just need someone to see us and keep us company as we go about our daily lives.
Later on in the post Ebert writes something that I think exemplifies the quintessence of life. "The biological reason we fall in love may be to encourage reproduction. Yet why did nature provide homosexuality if that is the only purpose? Why do people marry with no prospects of children? Babies are not the only thing two people can create together. They can create a safe private world. They can create a reality that affirms their values. They can stand for something. They can find someone to laugh with, and confide in. Someone to hold them when they need to be held." We need to love and to be loved to truly not feel lonely.
Another topic that really relates to Roger Ebert is how we deal with challenges. People take one of two routes. You can rise to the occasion or be crushed; sink or swim. After Ebert had surgery and lost his voice, he rose above it. He refused to let his experience tie him down and instead allowed it to lift it up. He turned to the internet which allowed him to share all his thoughts and inspire readers around the world. Every person reacts differently to the chaos in their lives. A personal example I neglected to share in class relates to my mom and Aunt. In early December my Aunt who's also my moms sister was diagnosed with stage IV Cervical Cancer. She had a surgery to remove the tumor, but the tumor wasn't contained which of course means the cancer will eventually spread throughout her body. Her odds aren't good and currently she's still not healed from the surgery. That means she can't start chemo or radiation and the longer she waits the more the cancer progresses. That may have come out a bit blunt, but sometimes that's the best way for things to be said. So anyway, when my mom was first informed it was like someone tied a weight to her leg. Weeks passed and the weight just seemed to get heavier. My mom, when faced with a terrifying and awful circumstance has chosen to sink. Currently, my aunt is doing okay, which is to say that she hasn't gotten any worse. I think it's harder to swim when the awful experience is still happening. By that I mean, my Aunt's still alive but my mom is waiting for what she sees as the inevitable. Now I can't exactly predict the future but I think that if my aunt passes on my mom will be able to swim again. Once you reach rock bottom, the only way to go is up. The weights will drag my mom all the way down but eventually they will become untied and she will slowly make her way back to the surface.