...to complain about. Every now and then, I begin to feel depression- or to call it by its real name, self pity- creeping in around the edges. My life could be better, should be better, etc. Then I look at the people around me, and I realize, it isn't so bad. For instance, at work there is
1. A man who, last winter, was found to have a giant tumour on his kidney, A lengthy operation removed a fourteen pound tumour along with the kidney. After a lengthy recuperation, he was found to have blood clots. Then he was found to have another tumour in his lung, and was put on an experimental treatment, which has a 2% success rate for people his age. The treatment was working, then he vanished from work again, and is apparently very ill, and in need of another operation. I spoke to him just before he fell ill again. I asked him what he was still doing here, and why he didn't go and enjoy what could be his last days. He responded that work actually helped him by forcing him to get up in the morning. More than that, he said he didn't min that he had been struck down. Of all the people in his family, he was the only one without children, and his wife has a better paying job than he does, and will be able to look after herself should he die. "If someone in the family had t get sick," he said. "I'm the best one. If my getting this disease means the other ones don't, then that's good."
2. Another man whose wife was in a car accident about seven or eight months ago. She stopped at a red light, and someone rammed her from behind. She suffered a mild concussion, and her recovery is slow to non existent. She suffers from dizziness, forgetfulness, agoraphobia, and, strangely, has lost the ability to read. She cannot work. Her personality is different. Her husband is now, for all intents and purposes, a single parent with an extra child and a reduced income. He lives with someone who looks like his wife, sounds like his wife, but in many ways is not the woman he married. He soldiers on, and hopes for the best. He thanks me whenever I ask after her, even though he has no good news to tell me about her recovery.
3. Another man whose son was diagnosed with leukemia around the spring. He took time off, and lost a lot of pay, to stay with and care for his son. His son is well on the road to recovery, but then the man was found with testicle cancer. One testicle was removed, and the doctors hoped they got all the cancer. They didn't, but they assured him that his type of cancer was easily cured with chemo. The chemo nearly killed him, and he has been taken off it, and the doctors are seeking another form of treatment. He repeatedly told me that he isn't concerned about himself, but is more concerned over his son.
I have doubts that I could have faced any of these trials with the grace and courage of these men, and my self pity is replaced with self disgust, and a desire to pull myself up by the boot straps and be a man. I have three healthy children and a healthy wife, all of whom love me. For that alone, I should feel nothing but gratitude.
Pray for these men.