The Union Creek Journal

A Chronicle of Survival

March 15, 2015: Faith & Hope & Reason

Melody, the young woman we rescued from Hernandez’s men a few days ago, is dead.  Suicide.

How do you know when you’re reaching the end of your rope?  How did Melody decide that she simply couldn’t go on any longer?  What was the final straw?  The loss of her family?  Her capture by the gang members?  What was it that ultimately tipped the scales?  How do you spot the signs?  Is it possible to pull yourself back from the brink?  Is Levi close?  Is Carrie?  Am I?

Perhaps some of those questions are better left unanswered.  Maybe it’s better just to have it happen suddenly, without warning, than to struggle against yourself.  I’ve seen enough death to know that it’s extremely painful to watch someone die slowly.  Then again, I also know that having someone snatched away suddenly can be just as painful.  It’s like the old band-aid question – Pull it off slowly or rip it off as quickly as you can?  Neither one is pleasant and I can’t really recall one being less painful than the other.

I’ve never thought of Ozzy Osbourne as a philosopher, but a song of his came back to me as I was writing this entry.  The name of the song was Running Out of Time.  If I remember correctly, the chorus of that song went like this:

 Just another lonely, broken hero

Picking up the pieces of my mind

Running out of faith and hope and reason

I’m running out of time

Running out of time

I get the feeling that we’re running out of time.  I think old Ozzy got it right.  When you lose faith, you begin to lose hope.  When you lose hope, reason begins to erode.  When reason fails you, you’re lucky … wait, I don’t believe in luck … you’re blessed if you can pick up the pieces of your mind and begin to rebuild your hope and faith.

This also reminds me of the Rule of Threes.  You can survive three minutes without air, three hours (in harsh conditions) without shelter, three days without water, three weeks without food and three months without hope.

Had Melody really been without hope for three months?  Or, is it like the other elements of the Rule of Threes?  Some people can survive longer without air, shelter, water or food longer than others.  The human body has its outer limits, but there are those who are capable of pushing those limits farther than others.

That reminds me of something else.  “Embrace the suck.”  I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard that phrase.  It’s the more modern interpretation of what many of my drill instructors used to say – “Embrace the pain.”  Don’t just learn to deal with it … learn to embrace it.  Only by embracing something can you truly master it.  Keep pleasantness close, but keep pain closer … like your enemies.  Get to know pain and discomfort.  Learn to love “the suck”.  Crudely put, life is going to suck from time-to-time … maybe a lot of the time.  If you embrace the pain, you will take away its power over you.

Much more easily said than done.  Although, we seem to be getting plenty of opportunities to practice these days.

Enough with the deep thoughts.

Our newest resident seems to be healing as well as can be expected.  She’s still in a coma but her visible wounds are coming along nicely.  Who knows what sort of mental wounds rest behind her remaining eye.  We can only guess at how she ended up where she was in the condition we found her.  I’m guessing she’ll have some embracing to do when she comes out of that coma.

We had our family medical meeting.  I kept my anti-alternative medicine opinions in check … for the most part.

Most of the family is in favor of a regular dose of Thieves’ Oil to boost their immune systems.  The story behind Thieves’ Oil is that there was a band of thieves in the fifteenth century who bolstered their immune systems by using cloves, rosemary and a few other aromatics to protect themselves against the plague victims that they robbed.  Apparently, the thieves’ concoction worked so well that they were eventually captured by the king and forced to give up their recipe.

Whether the story is true or not, there seems to be quite a bit of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of Thieves’ Oil to bolster the immune system and ward off viruses like the common cold.  We’ll see.  If nothing else, perhaps it will bolster the hope of several members of our group.  (See above.)

Of course, my mom has a recipe for Thieves Oil in one of her herbal remedy books.  Her recipe calls for equal amounts of eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon, clove and lemon – usually a tablespoon of each – mixed with a base of about two ounces of olive oil.  The mixture can then be diffused in a small room for about half an hour or applied to the soles of the feet.

My mom warned us that the cinnamon and clove can irritate the skin of fair-skinned folks like us so we should start with a very small amount on the bottoms of our feet if we decided to apply it that way.

So, we know that this Thieves’ Oil can cause skin irritation but we’re going to go ahead and apply it to the soles of our feet anyway?  No thanks.  I need the soles of my feet in tip-top condition.  We do far too much walking to be worrying about irritated skin on our feet.

The diffuser method?  If this stuff will irritate the tough skin on the soles of your feet, what will it do to your sinuses, lungs … and the rest of your respiratory system?  Time for me to take a deep breath … without any Thieves’ Oil diffusing over a candle.

I think I’ll stick to my good diet, lots of fresh air and exercise routine and hope for the best.

Maybe I’m not running out of faith and hope and reason just yet.

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11 thoughts on “March 15, 2015: Faith & Hope & Reason

  1. Well mud,
    I’m rapidly gaining on the journal entry dates, and (starting tomorrow) I know I’m going to have to wait for entries soon. Such is life…

    I have enjoy the story so far, and your attention to sensory detail really helps set the stage for the reader, making visualizing the story easy. I will anxiously wait with the rest of your readers for the newest postings.

    Ps. I lol’d at red saturns and tinfoil hats.

  2. Since this is a journal I guess I can’t complain at how the plot goes, it just irks me when it seems like little good happens to the “Good Guys”. I guess surviving this long is good but we can always hope for better things than just surviving.

    A decent entry again, it seems odd that I think more about how Dave thinks than I usually do when reading. Must be because of the time factor between entries, but it keeps me coming back, so all is good!

    • Mike, we live in a world filled with “bad”. Bad things happen to good people during the best of times. Now, if I was writing for Disney …. 😀

      I’m glad to hear the book has you thinking. That’s a big part of why I’m writing it. I’m always disappointed when someone makes a comment and it’s obvious that they haven’t given thought to what’s going on “beyond the page”.

      Keep coming back, please!

      • Like a bad penny or as Arnold says, “I’ll be back”. I just have to know what happens now.

  3. Gadsden11 on said:

    Good stuff!! Look forward to the next entry.

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  7. Gordon on said:

    Can’t wait for more,

  8. Yet another great chapter. Keep up the good work. I’m on pins and needles wanting the next (several) chapters.

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