Life Can Be So Unfair


Last month I wrote about a true survivor with incredible resilience.  Resilience Trumps Tragedy

Carolyn endured the catastrophic losses of both her husband and son within a few years of one another.  It’s almost unfathomable but, as we all know, devastating events like this happen all too often.
Last month’s article could also have been entitled “Life Can Be SO Unfair.”

Unfortunately from last month to now, a new drama in the making is unfolding in real time.
My friend and former co-worker Vince is experiencing a cascade of unusual medical events.  The short version of his two-year saga in the making, is that he underwent a below-the-knee amputation in May due to a bizarre but still unspecified clotting disorder.

His gutsy determination, unwavering family and friend support and a positive attitude have propelled him through surgery, recovery and into a temporary prosthesis in record time.  None of us are surprised by his determination; it’s who he is.  A fighter.  A survivor.  An inspiration.

Bad things happen to good people.
There’s a group of us that meet monthly for catching up, hanging out and breakfast with bottomless cups of coffee.  In September, after understandably missing a few breakfast get-togethers, Vince was at last going to join us and show off his new leg hardware.

But it was not to be.  Far too many of us can identify with the reality that bad things happen to good people.
Unexpectedly more clots have formed and lodged and/or traveled to his carotid artery causing a moderate stroke in mid September!

This time, his gutsiness, support and attitude aren’t enough, at least not so far, to catapult him through a rapid recovery.

Only the good die young.  
I’ve thought a lot recently about this line from a Billy Joel song “Only the good die young.”  Intellectually I know it’s not true but emotionally I’m not so sure.

Vince’s future isn’t written yet but it is legitimately bleak.  Yet another clot was found in his other leg the day he was to be discharged to a stroke rehab center.

Privately, I suspect we all grieve more for the victim of a shooting than the shooter if he/she is subsequently killed by police.  There’s a feeling of poetic justice, albeit sometimes unspoken.

The present is a present.
Every morning when my feet hit the floor but I don’t, it’s the beginning of a good day, well hopefully.
Many years ago an acquaintance underwent a kidney transplant necessitated by a rare medical condition.  She had been on the transplant wait list for years before a viable kidney became available.

More than anyone I knew at the time, she really lived each and every day (the present) as a “present” and expressed that sentiment often!

I know everyone has a tragic story or two to tell.

I know I’m not the only person to experience devastating personal losses or see my friends endure painful tragedies.
Enjoy the present.  You never know what tomorrow brings.  That’s exactly what I was thinking when my brother called to tell me he had “stage 4 esophageal cancer with a year to live!”

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About Elaine C.Pereira

Elaine retired in June 2010 as a school Occupational Therapist where she worked with special needs children. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Joe. Between them, they have five children — Joe has three sons and Elaine has twin daughters-and soon-to-be five grandchildren. Elaine has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Wayne State University. Elaine is the author of I Will Never Forget and she was inspired to tell her mother’s incredible story in part to help other caregivers coping with memory loss issues in their loved ones. I Will Never Forget

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