Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Courage is contagious

What do you do when you realize life is just a blip in the Milky Way? Do you a) pull the covers over your head and refuse to get out of bed? b) take chances in all you do and say "yes" often because we're all gonna die anyway or c) sit back, take a breath and be grateful for all you have?

I have been in stages of life where all these choices have made sense at the time. The trick is to keep rotating and not go to one extreme or another. I try to err on the grateful side as lately there are so many people I know who have come upon hard times due to illness or circumstance beyond their control. This doesn't make my own sufferings or conflicts any less important but it helps put it in perspective that as humans, we all suffer. Then we help each other up and keep moving forward. Or at least moving!

Let's examine: 
  1. In the last month I have learned of a baby cousin with RSV in intensive care, a student hit by a car in a crosswalk, one colleague with a brain tumor and another with ovarian cancer, a friend who lost her job and is facing surgery, a friend whose Dad has congestive heart failure, and a beautiful young woman with stubborn cancer that keeps coming back despite countless bouts of chemo. 
  2. A friend who struggles with addiction has decided to get clean and I know it's going to be really really hard for her. 
  3. A shy young woman who moved to town after her dad died. She wants new friends and is so brave, putting herself out there on Facebook trying to make new friends.  
  4. My Dad, who was diagnosed last year with Parkinson's. He is frustrated and confused at times, but he doesn't complain, and my Mom is learning how to be a patient caregiver. Their marriage and devotion still astounds me. No surprise this year is their 50th anniversary! 
I am in awe of all these amazing individuals and their courage. They give me hope and a deepening faith in humanity -- and gratefulness for a tomorrow that may or may not come.

Be brave! 

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