Friday, September 24, 2010

Reality Check, In the Hardest Form

I’m the first person to admit that I complain, whine, bitch, moan, hiss and on special occasions, have a tendency to claw.  My bite is worse than my bark and I have no problem expressing my disgust for stupidity, selfishness, condescending behavior and overall assholeness (yeah I think I just made that word up). 

I’m about as wound up as they come.  I let miniscule things bother me; I tend to become stressed out over stuff that I cannot control.  I get worked up over sports commentators that trash-talk our local college football team.  I panic when my starting line-up for my Fantasy Football team doesn’t perform well.  I spew green foam when parents get into pissing matches on my son’s football field.  I worked myself up so much the other day that I actually forgot what I pissed off about. 

It all seems so trivial today. 

Lindsey I’m-a-Druggy-Pathetic-Role-Model-For-Young-Girls Lohan and her “issues”; Paris and her issues, NFL players and their inability to drink responsibly and catch a cab home, the bitch that lives next door to me that mows her lawn at 9 o’clock at night when my kid is sleeping, the punk kids who drive at mach 10 down my street when there are little kids playing.  It all seems really ridiculous and insignificant given what I now know.  

God, Buddha, Allah, whoever you want to believe in, The Higher Power that is out there tests us daily.  Maybe not financially, or spiritually, or even physically, sometimes it’s mental.  Sometimes it’s our integrity, honesty or trust.  Our fears could be tested or our faith.  For whatever reason we are tested, for whatever circumstance, I’m a firm believer (or at least have always been) in, there is a reason this is happening. 

A little girl.  A vibrant, energetic little girl, with loving and compassionate parents.  Both very involved in their church, community, and the lives of their kids.  A little girl with two other brothers and one sister.  A little girl, that I have never met, but I have seen run like the wind and twirl around unabashedly in the practice fields where my son meets 5 times a week to play football.  The little girl I’ve seen shrieks with excitement, smiles bigger than sun, moon and stars and giggles with a strong animated tone that becomes contagious if you’re around it. 

A little girl was diagnosed two days ago with Neuroblastoma and is already in Stage IV of this horrifying disease.

Her father is my son’s football coach.  Her older brother is my son’s friend and classmate.  Her Mother, I have only spoken to in passing and have used a polite smile and nod as I did so. 

Two days ago, life became more than dreading 6 o’clock in the morning.  It became more than feeling ‘put out’ because I got stuck at a red light.  It became more than being frustrated because I am obligated to make my son’s lunch.  The small kiddy pool in my backyard that my pup has dug, the $60 in hoses I have purchased, just to have them destroyed, the exasperation in my voice because I have to drive into town – again – for the 4th time in one day, all seems so childish and selfish now. 

Shame on me.  Shame on me for being so self-centered and spoiled.  Shame on me for thinking that this is some kind of karma payback for using the F-word too many times.  Shame on me for thinking that I’m so important that I can’t possibly take time out of my pathetic day to grab my kid and say, “Let’s go play catch.”  Shame on me for thinking I have it rough because I was laid off.   Who the hell am I? 

I see this girl’s family and friends rally around this child and I am consumed by the love and support that they are receiving.  My heart is aching for this baby and there is nothing I can do; besides tell this family that they are in my thoughts and prayers. 

I have this inconceivable amount of sorrow lingering in my gut.  I’ve been carrying around a golf-ball sized knot in my throat and I have no way to release.  I am hoping and praying that this family will see positive results and this child is spared the pain that this cancer brings.  I pray that this family will receive the ‘good news’ they desperately need and undoubtedly deserve. 

Today, trivial things don’t matter.  

Today, I grabbed my son before he left for school and I wrapped my arms around him and just embraced his presence. 

Today, I laughed when my puppy chewed up his brand new toy – so much so you can’t even recognize what it was to begin with.

Today, waking up didn’t bother me.  Spilling my coffee made me giggle.  Watching uptight drivers rev their engines and gun their little 4-cylinders off the line made me chuckle.

Today I embraced the headache I got.

Today, I prayed for this family, more than I’ve ever prayed for anything.

Today, I am taking nothing for granted.


  1. There was recently a family here in town who lost their daughter to Neuroblastoma. It was a heartbreaking loss for all of us and I remember feeling the exact same way you do, especially when we heard that she was living her last days.

    I know that I always need those reminders that life is not nearly as irritating, frustrating, and maddening as I often times think it is. I just wish those reminders didn't come in this kind of packaging.

    Thoughts and love being sent to the family. And some {hugs} to you as well...

  2. I used to be similar to you, in as much as I got stressed over what I now consider to be stupid things. Then two years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer (a diagnosis that was completely unexpected as he'd had no symptoms); that was my reality check.

    Over the years, when I'd stress over something, he'd say to me, "don't sweat the small stuff," which I just didn't get. It wasn't until after he was diagnosed that I finally understood exactly what he meant.

    Terrible things happen in life that make you sort out your priorities, but it's a damn harsh way for it to happen.

    To hear of a child being stricken with this dreadful disease is particularly distressing.

    Sending positive thoughts and hugs.

  3. Well said cuz! Instead of your post bringing laughter it brought tears to my eyes. My prayers go out to them as well.

  4. You know Spanky... it's never too late to turn a new leaf and not let yourself trip over the banalities of life. And if it takes a grand misfortune for you to do so (remember 9-11 when suddenly there was NO road rage for months?) then it's ok to have SOME good come out of horrid bad shit.

    Sometimes I think our race is fucked up we need bad shit to do good. You know what I mean?

    This is SAD, don't get me wrong, but try to remember who you've become in the past week and keep this in mind next time you want to strangle a waitress who fucks up your order, or somebody who steals your parking spot... And trust me, her getting sick has nothing to do with you saying FUCK all the time, your saying FUCK all the time is your salvation (I know it is for me...)

    Thanks for the post, we all need to stop and take time to realize what really matters in life. Paris Hilton can just go suck your bunion covered lemon skin for all I care... lol


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