My heart was squeezed dry like an orange today by news from a friend about her daughter's MRI and biopsy; the daughter's got holes in her bones; they can only wait for the test results, available Thursday; she told me, "Pray" and "You know what this is like."
I sure do.
A friend has a leaky heart valve that's leaked for a while and now it's time for open-heart surgery and repairs; his wife got skin cancer on her eyelid; her father committed suicide two years ago at age 94. They do not deserve this. Another friend sleeps in her clothes in case her husband has another heart attack and she has to take him to the hospital; about every three weeks there's a false alarm. Another friend died because her lungs hardened. It was genetic; there was nothing anyone could do.
I am grateful for the things that have already happened to me. I used to lie awake terrified of cancer, poverty, bereavement, job loss, debt, aging. These things happened and continue to happen; my only advantage is in having no children to lose. I am glad to have some first-timer's agonies over and done with. Having made it to the other shore, I can try to hold out a hand or a light to maybe help someone else across, or just stand there to let it be known it can be done.