I know right now one of my closest friends is down in the dumps, nearly buried by bad beat stories and the human waste of wealthy diseased minds. I actually didn't feel much sympathy for this friend's situation until very recently. Now I think I understand just how much his situation sucks.
I shared one type of perspective with him last night and wanted to share it here as well. We all have our poker and life tilt to handle.
Last night I was unhappy about following the kids to another swim practice. Our neighborhood swim team wears on the kids and is exhausting for the parents. A daily morning practice, another in the afternoon, last night a third practice at the site of our big divisional meet this weekend.
I was tired from work and had no desire to spend another hour flipping through a Newsweek and baking in the sun.
Right as I pulled a second deck chair to prop up my feet, a neighbor of mine pulled a lounge chair nearby. I hadn't seen him in a while and didn't expect to see him then. His daughter is on the swim team too.
In fact, the reason I know this neighbor is because I often gave that same daughter of his a ride to soccer practice last spring. He had his hands full with two other children and a third year of chemotherapy for his wife.
3 years ago his wife took a child to the ER for an X-ray on a broken arm. While there, she mentioned she didn't "feel right." Soon after, she was fighting lymphoma. On the 4th of July this year, she died.
It wasn't like we didn't see it coming.
She was at our last home swim meet, wheelchair bound, wearing a mask to cover most of her face. I'm sure she didn't weigh 65 pounds. But there she was watching her daughter swim. I'm sure she felt lucky for that.
As for my lounging neighbor last night, I'm not sure how lucky he feels. He's raising 3 young children alone. The love of his life has died. And, suddenly, watching my healthy children swim, knowing my wife was making our dinner at home, I felt like a very lucky man.
In my line of work I get this stuff all the time.
Last week, an 8 year old girl was raped, murdered, and crammed into the closet of an aboandoned home by her 14 year old neighbor.
The next day, a man went to work and came home to find his apartment on fire with his wife and 3 year old child dead inside.
Life's a bitch. We're damn lucky to have it.
I do sympathize with the very serious and very real problems my close friend is having. I'm not posting this to try and minimize those issues. They are what they are. But he is a very lucky man. So am I.
When we die, we take nothing with us. The living do keep a piece of the dead. All we have is all we love.
And if my friend needs my help, I'm here.