“So how are YOU doing?” I get that a lot and I appreciate that people ask. But I don’t really have a good answer. It all depends. The day, the time, the circumstances, they all matter. I guess it all depends, because no matter what else is happening, no matter the beautiful weather, the good friends, the exotic getaway place, it’s always with you. Like a constant tooth ache. Like a painful back. Like cancer…
And I don’t even have it, though I’d rather trade with Barb so she wouldn’t have to endure this again. Nothing really prepares you for something like this. We had changed our approach to living the first time Barb was diagnosed, deciding to travel while we could, because we didn’t really know what the next year/month would bring. So we had Paris. And London, Madrid, Vancouver, Rome, Florence, Santorini, Iceland and others. Beautiful, far-away places that we’d never dreamed of visiting, creating memories that will live with us always (however long that is). But not once did I really think we’d be back here. As kids, we believed we were invincible. Oddly, as an adult, I guess it still seemed that way for me… Not now.
They say that God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle, and I believe that’s true. The world is full of people suffering unimaginably – no matter how bad your situation is, there is always someone who has it worse (well, I guess there HAS to be someone who can claim that distinction). But that doesn’t change the fact that Barb has gotten a rotten deal. She deserves so much more than this, and I can’t help but feel a deep well of anger and sadness that my best friend, my savior (if you only knew!) and the love of my life received the notice that her lottery numbers were a match to a very perverse game of chance.
So how am I doing? I’ve been better. But haven’t we all? One thing I’ve learned from my many years as a Human Resource professional is that everyone has a story. That wedding vow saying we’d still have love, “in sickness and in health” was more than a powerful bond. It was a prediction. And it will come true for us all. Because, as my friend Dr. Ben Greenberg once said, “None of us are getting out alive.” Many of you reading this blog have, or are, enduring your own trials and painful realities, many in the privacy of your own families and close-knit friends. I think I have a better understanding of how you feel, and my heart goes out to you all, in no small part because we have been the recipients of your heartfelt encouragement.
So Barb, Kelsey, Bridget and I will carry on, because that’s what we do. It’s not what we want, it’s not what we asked for, but it’s what we got. And I’m feeling fine.
My song? The blues of course! Stormy Monday/The Allman Brothers