By Jerry Shubert
Mitsue (my wife) and I have an interesting idea of fun: we like to lock the door, get in the car, and go; then come back whenever we feel like it.
About four and a half years ago, my wife's kidneys failed and she went on dialysis. She had to go to the hospital every other day. She alternated between good days and bad days.
Later we graduated to home dialysis. This was much better; for example, we could travel a little, with limitations.
In April, Mitsue developed peritonitis and was taken to the hospital to have an emergency operation. Her condition was serious. Her whole stomach was infected. A white mass had also accumulated on her brain, potentially causing metal problems. They gave her morphine. She went "loony tunes" — she didn't even know where she was.
On the 14th day of Mitsue's hospitalization, the doctor said that she would be released. I remarked "It will be great to bring her home."
Then the doctor told me, "You don't understand; I have told you before how dangerous her condition is. The white mass on her brain that makes her mentally unfit, is irreversible. As far as her physical ability, don't expect too much. You can't handle this situation! I'm not talking about sending her home, we have to put her in a nursing home."
To me, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism is not a "count-your-blessings" religion. Nor is it a "be thankful-for-what-you-got" religion.
Buddhism is win-win.
With this thought in mind, somehow, I convinced the doctor to put me to the test. He agreed to let my wife come home for a week or so to see if I could handle the situation or not.
We had daily chanting sessions at our home as well as other people's homes. At first, Mitsue could not join us. Then she began to appear briefly in front of the Gohonzon.
A week later, we saw the doctor (who had proclaimed her illness irreversible). She walked in to his office using only my arm as support. She was capable of carrying on a normal conversation with him.
He kept shaking his head. Then he sent her to have a CAT scan of her stomach. He told me that he was amazed at the fast recovery and wanted to know what I had done.
I said: "What you are witnessing is the raw, unbridled power of Nam Myoho-renge-kyo." The doctor said he had heard that phrase before and wanted to know its meaning. Of course, I told him all about Buddhism.
When the results from the CAT scan came back, he looked at them many times and, after consulting with another doctor, confirmed that there were no signs of infection anywhere.
I do not want to downplay the seriousness of this disease. It is a maiming, deadly disease. But we have the Gohonzon and the SGI.
Mitsue is still undergoing dialysis but we no longer fear the deadliness of her disease. She and I still travel.
has caused us to live one day at a time with no regrets; we appreciate
life fully, day by day.