04 Aug When Bad Things Happen To Good People
When bad things happen, the most useful question to ask is not “Why” but “What am I going to do about it.”
I have a good friend who despite being a single mum was there for me every step of the way through my journey with cancer. She came to the hospital with me for all of my operations.
Jac and I met at work. My affectionate nickname for her was “Hurricane,” she would sweep in focused on the immediate task at hand; determined to accomplish it, but completely oblivious of any collateral fallout. Jac is a bundle of energy, she may be pint size in stature but she is a human dynamo whose presence could never go unnoticed. She is good natured and upbeat; the quintessential party girl. The last to bed, the first to offer to help clean up in the morning.
Since the birth of her daughter Jac has carried a few extra kilos but they suit her. She exudes warmth and vitality and I could never imagine her as some stick thin, anaemic, Gold Coast princess. She has a bosom that is designed to nurture, and is one of those lucky people who doesn’t carry weight in their bum. She always looks fantastic in jeans. On one occasion she borrowed a pair of my jeans and after seeing her in them, I had to gift them to her, as my ass definitely didn’t look that good.
Our friendship deepened after her husband died unexpectedly in a tragic accident. Although she has understandably faltered at times, nothing has dampened her on-going enthusiasm for life. She has taught her daughter to celebrate her dad’s life rather than continually grieve for his death.
They often speak of him with warmth and love. Whenever a thunderstorm occurs her daughter will look upwards and say “There’s Dad again.”
Recently Jac’s brother was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer that has metastasised to his bones. He is a healthy guy in the prime of his life who doesn’t drink or smoke. He was a competitive tri-athlete. This devastating diagnosis was completely unexpected. However her brother is a quietly courageous person who will not allow cancer to defeat or define him. His life span will not be determined by statistics and probabilities as he does not fit the norm.
My heart breaks for her family. If I could, I would willingly shoulder their suffering. I ask myself _“Why her? Why him? Why do bad things happen to good people?” _However railing at the fates will not change the situation. All I can do is learn from Jac’s example and be there for her as she was for me.