Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reminder: I'm Not That Special

Have any of you, my dear blogging buddies, heard about the Boston Molasses Disaster? In 1919, a massive tank of molasses collapsed releasing over 2 million gallons of the gooey stuff. It ran down the streets of Boston at 35 miles per hour. About 150 people were hurt, many animals were injured and 21 people were killed!

My husband was telling me this story last night and I sat in amazement. It makes me think about all the crazy, unexpected ways a person can leave this earth.

In many ways, I like to think I have an advantage. Because of my history, I have an acute awareness that it could be "any moment." Thanks to this, I live my life differently. When my day comes, I want to be proud of my choices and my willingness to take emotional risks.

In my life, I have often looked into the eyes of the person I'm speaking with and seen a well of pity. It's very uncomfortable! I have trouble staying focused on what I'm saying because I am so distracted by their deep feelings of grief and sympathy.

When I hear stories like the one about the Boston Molasses Tragedy, I am reminded that I don't have an advantage nor do I deserve any pity--the playing field is actually quite even. Any day, I could be walking down the road and be swept away by a river of North Carolina BBQ Sauce or, as the popular saying goes, simply get hit by a bus. The same goes for you!

There are times when I am frustrated by patients who constantly ask over and over "WHY ME?" I think this story is at the root of my frustration.

It is much easier to say "why not me?" when diagnosed with a serious illness--it certainly is a big club. At the very least, it is easier to comprehend that it would be for someone who dies from a river of sweet dessert food. We all have to go somehow. Someday. Let's not be so bold as to call ourselves special because we have an illness. Getting run over by molasses? Now, that's special.

1 comment:

Midlife Midwife said...

Ok, I am laughing about the molasses story "now that's special!" Good point though. None of us know when our time will come. I've stopped asking the "why me" and asking more often "why not me?" I am so blessed that so many tragic things haven't happened to me. Now I will add to my gratitude list...I haven't been run over by a runaway blob of molasses!