Just when…

… you think your situation stinks, you hear about someone else’s that’s a hundred times worse.

Like Thanksgiving 2004. It just sucked. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was not a good weekend. And then I found out that a friend’s 9-year-old daughter lost her long (half her life) battle with a rare form of kidney cancer called Wilm’s tumor on Thanksgiving day. Shit. Then, when we got back into town, I took Max to see his speech therapist and found out that she had gone to her brother’s house for Thanksgiving day and brought along her dog, as she often did. Well, that day her dog decided to attack her brother’s dog. The result was a really high vet bill and a lot of hurt feelings. So, I told her about my friend’s daughter. “Holy…”

For the past two nights, Max has turned into a demon seed at bedtime. We can’t figure out why. It sucks. We don’t like him when he’s like this. We don’t like ourselves very much either. And it reminds us that there is so little we really know about him. He’s obviously mad, but can’t tell us what he is mad about. He doesn’t quite know how to express the “why”.

Well I woke up this morning at 6 for some ungodly reason and took a look at Facebook on my iPod. One of the first things I saw was a post from 1 a.m. CA time that said “I posted a note to explain what’s going on with our daughter.” So, I found the note. Turns out an old friend’s junior high-age daughter (the oldest of three girls) has leukemia. Shit. I’ve never met her, but I’ve known her dad and his family since we were in junior high. He lived on my street. He’s one of the nicest people I know.

Now, I’m a firm believer that if you feel like your situation sucks, you should be allowed to complain and wallow. It’s YOUR situation… and it feels sucky. And someone else’s worse situation shouldn’t make you put away your feelings. But I also believe that hearing someone else’s bad news puts your own in perspective. It makes you WANT to reach out and comfort them. It makes you WANT to put yours away.

A tricky thing, this life.

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