Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's all about perspective.

A co-worker found out today that he has two large polyps growing in his brain.  Apparently he's been having trouble with dizziness and lightheadedness for about a year, and two weeks ago decided to finally have himself checked out medically.  The MRI reading was this afternoon; he drove straight to the office to pick up his short-term disability and FMLA paperwork.  He goes back to the doctor the first week of January to discuss the surgery that will be required to remove the tumors.  He stood in my office, a 37 year old man-child, fighting to keep the moisture in his wide eyes from spilling down his cheeks, the terror written plainly on his face thanks to the tough-guy act he was trying to play, and he said to me, "It's not cancer, though.  They would've had to tell me if it was cancer, right?"

My heart broke.  "They probably don't know what it is, James.  They'll have to biopsy it once they remove it and then they'll know more."

He pursed his lips in that little half-smile of his and nodded his head in that goofy way he does and didn't say anything.  His eyes were so red.

He had an uncle recently die from brain cancer.  Oh, how scared he must be.

He once told me all he wants is a woman who will love him.  "I'll give her anything she wants," he exclaimed. "I'd marry her, give her babies, buy her a house, buy her a car, take her on vacations...I just want to have a girl who cares about me."   In my mind, in that memory, he's so vulnerable, so innocent, so open - scared to death and begging for kindness and companionship and love.  I saw that side of him again today, and again, it broke my heart for him.


Again I'm reminded to be thankful for what I've got.  Basic, instinctual, foundation-of-life blessings that I overlook and take for granted every fucking day of my existence.  

But mostly, I'm reminded that every day I need to be kind to every person I meet, everyone with whom I speak.  So many people in this world are so full of hurt and worry and fear and sadness; my goal is to not ever add to that for anyone.  I would take it away from them if I could.   

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