Sometimes the crises in the lives of those you love happen in a nice, tidy order (crisis, resolution, next crisis...) but often, they seem to happen all at once. While my computer has been out of whack, I have been blindsided by two painful tragedies.
One is the much beloved oldest son of my dear friends. In a completely stupid, tragic loss, this amazing pile of potential chose to fall into the spiralling, gaping pit of terminal selfishness, and wasted a life that had the promise of changing the world.
Instead of choosing to use his gifts and his tremendous talents, he squandered them, and died as yet another pathetic, nameless, faceless number on a police blotter in a far away city. There was nothing redeeming in his death, except that those he left mourning behind him know that there are no more grenades of his stupidity left to shatter their hearts even further.
It is possible to die of selfishness and stupidity, and the problem with the selfishness vortex is the way that it blinds those who fall for it's glittering attractions (the siren call of "me, Me, ME"!) to the pain and piles of crap that their choices fling in ever increasing circles out onto those who love them.
But not all pain comes from stupidity. Some just comes from mortality.
The other trial is in the life of somebody who is so @#$%^& close to perfect, you would HATE her if she wasn't so genuinely sweet and good, and...well, perfect.
She is my cousin, younger than I am. I watched her grow her whole life--from her long and anxiously awaited birth all through her growing up. She did great in school--both socially and academically. She was loving and excellent, and we were all overjoyed when she dated wisely and responsibly, and chose a handsome, smart (balance of perfection, even!) returned missionary young man to marry. They had three wild and crazy little boys (exactly the right kind of wild and crazy) while her husband completed law school at a prestigious school close enough that they could visit a few times.
They graduated, and moved across the country, back to where they were close to grandparents and family. He got a great job, in a good city. Life was excellent(the kind of excellent that comes as the mom of 3 boys under the age of 6).
They found out the good news and the bad news:
She is pregnant (Yay!) with a GIRL (YAY!) in the spring, near Easter.
Her handsome husband was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer.
Time to stop and think for a bit--and then, get back up and keep living, because you really only have 2 choices, and the other one stinks!