I think it was Sandra Cisneros that wrote that diseases have no eyes, they just pick and choose. Today 's news is about the death of Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor that became a spokesman for living despite his battle with pancreatic cancer through his last lecture. He was 47 with three little kids and I wonder why these things happen? How do diseases choose their victims? Why is the timing not convenient? What are we supposed to learn?
As I write this, a family is standing by as their mother also is dying from pancreatic cancer. She too will leave three children behind. Her children are not as young as his, one is a sophomore at Harvard, one will graduate from high school this year and one will be a high school freshman. Still, they are children too, her babies, and they will lose their mother soon. I had all the Carvalho children in my 8th grade English class and they were all brilliant and kind and positive. The influence of their parents, and the love and acceptance helped these kids grow to be this way. Emily, their mom, was at every school function, no matter how big or how small, always with the biggest smile and the most humble demeanor. Even when her oldest daughter was the valedictorian of the graduating class, she remained humble, stood in line with all the other families waiting to get in, made sure her ohana was together, greeted other parents with love and kindness. Diseases have no eyes. It doesn't look to see if it's the right time. It doesn't look at age, or accomplishments, or broken pieces that are left behind. What are we supposed to learn?
I think the lessons are obvious: live your best life, follow your dreams, appreciate your family, stay in touch. I think the arrogance of humans, our feeling of immortality in the face of mortality makes these lessons easy to accept and hard to execute. The philosophical versus the day-to-day grind of it all. How do we balance? What do we give up? How do we let go of the ego? (Yes, I listened to the podcasts on New Earth (?), Whole Earth? Whole Foods - Eckhart Tolle) How do we let go of the need to control? What do you know for sure?