I found out recently that one of my very favorite employees from the Boys and Girls Club lost his wife during childbirth with their second child. I was shocked when I heard the news and fell to my knees. I have shed many tears for this young man. We connected on the facebook last week and I have been so touched by the photos of him with his young children. Every milestone and anniversary with his newborn son is an anniversary of the death of his wife. My mind reels with what he is going through. How different, yet similar, our paths.
Another friend of mine went into the hospital last month because of gallstones and they discovered a large tumor covering her entire ovary--which they then removed. Ovary and all.
One of my blog readers, whom I've become friends with, just lost her nephew to a horrible and rare brain cancer.
A friend from college just buried her first baby who lived 2.5 hours. My heart breaks for her. She is so young. Her life full of so much hope and promise. And she is struggling. Struggling. Struggling.
Have I succeeded in depressing you?
But this is the thing: I remember right after Lucy died truly being unable to manage and cope with the pain. I was intensely grateful for the people around me who were in a "better place" in their lives so that they could serve us. If we all lived in a state of pain and anguish such as ours was, we would all be helpless. I did struggle with feeling envious of the lives of others, that they didn't have this pain, but I tried to focus on the blinding fact that they were able to help because of their "pain free" existence.
Of course I have learned since then more details about the lives of everyone who was so willingly there to serve us. And many of them were in just as dark of a place as we were at one time in their past. I decided I wanted to someday have the wits about me to be the one to serve. Eventually. Getting all of this bad and scary news last week made me realize how far we have come. I am not perfect. I am not all-knowing and wise just because of what we've been through, but I do feel we are in a better place and it is now our turn to step up to the plate and be the ones to help in someones time of need. It feels good. Tables do turn. Things get better. We all rely on each other. We have to.
To withdraw into our private sanctuaries not only deprives others of our love, our talents, and our service, but it also deprives us of chances to serve, to love, and to be loved.- Neal A. Maxwell