I am a kind person. I think I have a big heart and I care for people. When I hear/see animals suffering I am a blubbering idiot. But, I've been pretty closed off to the suffering of people. I'll admit it. There's a lot of ugliness in this world and people are suffering. It's 50/50 on people suffering because of their own actions, and those being dealt an extremely bad hand that don't deserve it.
Alas, now I look out upon the world through a different pair of eyes. I am 33 years old, I've lived and done some things. I was raised in a very blessed existence compared to most. My divorced parents were friends, I got to spend time with ALL of my family instead of alternating holidays or weekends. We traveled together ALL the time. There were Disneyland trips, Yosemite trips, camping all over the place, BBQs, dinners, etc. Looking back, except for mis-managing my time over the last 11 years, I've had a pretty good run of things.
Why do I say this?
Because I was watching an Ellen re-run today before the news came on. There was a lady on there whose 7 year old son was a HUGE Ellen fan. He also was born with half a heart and wasn't expected to live beyond a few months. Now, at 7, he calls Ellen his "girlfriend" and they watch her daily, including when he's at the hospital. He demands the nurses watch with him, and his treatments cannot interfere with Ellen being on. So she had him on Skype and sent him an iPad, and a trip to Disneyland because it's the only place he wants to go and she wanted to meet him. I've seen the follow-up episode to this one already and Ellen gives the family a very hefty check to deal with medical expenses. Neat, right?
Well, I was bawling. Quite literally heaving sobs on the couch. He's 7! He's not even in double-digits (because we all remember how cool it was to hit double digits!!!). He wasn't even meant to be here beyond a short time but he is and he's suffering for NO GOOD REASON waiting for a heart transplant. It isn't fair. Children being handed these life sentences. It is sad when old people or adults are diagnosed with cancer and what not but ... KIDS?
I can't believe how I was so concerned with dying. Who cares if I did? I am in my thirties! I've seen this world. I'd gladly step out and allow some child to live a normal life. Living where they can experience regular things that we take for granted.
Like, today, for instance. It was gorgeous. I sat outside after my radiation because I was sort of feeling alright and read a book while my dog ran around like a maniac on the lawn. At first, my brain was all thinking about the lawn and how long it was and whether I would feel up to taking a spin on the riding mower to shorten it. But then it was gone. Who cares if my lawn is overgrown? Right now was for enjoying things. I felt the sun on my face, and listened to the sounds around me. It's pretty quiet where I live. So I listened. I listened to a young sheep somewhere bleating.
When I went to get cat food, I was overtaken by the scent of the warm night. There's a certain fragrance to the heated day. It was amazing. I was happy to be out in the warm air, to feel the fresh air carressing my skin. It felt fabulous. I could ignore the pain in my throat, could forget that I was walking slow on legs that felt like they would fold underneath me in any minute.
This is a beautiful world we live in, aside from the shit that sometimes funnels down to us. I acknowledge all of the things I've taken for granted. And, in savoring these wonderful things my heart hurt again for children who are kept quarantined in hospital beds because the simple germs that we have built an immunity to would destroy them. Children who are injected with chemo-drugs, who lose their hair, who never know what it is like to just be a kid.
Sure, I've been tossed a pretty crappy hand by the dealer of life. I'll have this Wegener's Granulomatosis/GPA for the rest of my life but I can stay ahead of it and live til I'm a bitter ol' bat. Sure, I had a cancerous gland in my neck but it's gone and every day I'm shot with my own load of gamma rays to make sure it leaves for a long time. All of this happened when I was a well aged adult, not a fresh faced, innocent child.
My name is Nicole Grace and I cry watching Ellen.