A week ago today I had an automobile accident, which happened in a split second of distraction and peculiar circumstances. Since that event, I have found myself considering the events of Life and the attendant minister of Fate, Death. In the case of my accident, it was not really so bad, just a couple of banged-up cars and my air bag went off, but it shakes you up to go from normal to crisis in an instant. It reminds you that you never really know when it is your time, and it makes you sensitive to the loss of others.
This brings me to the topic. In my PMP cancer support group, two more of our members passed away this week, after long and difficult fights. We know a lot more about PMP and other rare cancers than we did just a year ago, but even so it is sometimes not enough, not in time, and all we can do is pray for solace for the families. In my office, one of my employees had a death in the family from a car accident, and another employee’s mother had a heart attack last night. Out of nowhere comes the grief.
The news is full of similar stories. A child drowns in a swimming pool because a mother gets distracted for a couple minutes. A deputy constable writing a ticket gets hit by a man driving an SUV while talking on his cell phone and he never sees him. Sometimes we know the ones who leave; Lois Maxwell, “Miss Moneypenny” in so many of the James Bond movies, dies Sunday in London. Marcel Marceau, perhaps the most famous mime of all time, died Saturday in Paris. Dr. James Keegan, who founded the “End Hunger Network” in Houston, also died recently. But the roll call, even for a single day, is long with people who died too soon or too suddenly, or whose loved ones wish they still had them home with them.
I guess there’s no profound point to this article, except maybe this one thing. Lately, I have seen a lot of anger and resentment, some very nasty sentiments and words used to convey disrespect and antipathy. I am by no means innocent of that conduct myself, and for that I apologize. I wonder, how many of us would choose such sharp words to throw at someone, if we somehow knew they would leave us soon and suddenly? Sure, in most cases we can say what we please and that person will be back tomorrow for more of the same and to give back as they get. But not always, and I wonder if we consider how little we really know, about what is to come, and those things which we really do not control at all.
Just something to think about, is all.