So, does it mean anything, being both a Unitarian Universalist and a parent of a cancer patient?
In some ways, no. You go through the same Kubler-Ross levels of grief. You deny, you rage, you cry, you bargain, you accept. You wish it could be YOU with the cancer, not your innocent little baby. (As if cancer is only handed out to those who have done bad.) You hold that baby close.
In some ways, yes. Forgive the wide generalizations here ... there are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. that all question and doubt in the same ways UU's do. As a UU, I consider it to be a responsibility to my religion that I question deity and philosophy. Perhaps this is a cushion, at times like this. When someone says to me, "You have to realize, this is all part of God's plan," I don't feel a need to rage at any type of "His eye is on the sparrow" deity, as perhaps one who has had total trust in God might. I can simply say, "Pbbblt."
And during the day, I can acknowledge the sense I have that such things are random. To my mind, when Job asks God why all the travails were visited upon him and God replies, "Because I'm God," I don't see it as any type of mystical answer. I think that it is a matter-of-fact answer to why bad things happen. They just do. "Because I'm God."
Just random. I believe that things are interconnected, but I believe that there are some things that happen randomly ... much like cancer itself. You have your healthy, working body, everything working in rhythm. But sometimes, things go screwy. Cells begin multiplying rapidly, out of rhythym, out of rhyme. Random.
But at night ...
But at night, as I curl my body around her sleeping form, looking at that sweet little face, tracing the incision that goes from one side of her to the other ... all I say is, Please.