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View Diary: cancer took my mom today don't let it take your loved ones (206 comments)

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  •  Actually, I now consider it a blessing that ... (7+ / 0-)

    they came on special days.  Particularly in the case of Christmas and Easter, it assures that we consider what those holidays are really about, and they aren't about which gifts you get, or a new dress or tie for Easter.

    This past Christmas Eve and Christmas night, partially in honor of my father, my wife and I volunteered at the local international seafarers center, keeping it open so that guys who are away from home for many months at a time could use the telephones and internet to contact their families in the Philippines.  As a Christmas gift, my wife and I gave the center a webcam, and one of the seafarers was able to use it, together with the one his wife had at home, to see his wife and their son who he hasn't yet seen in person, and a couple of others were able to use it to see (and be seen by) their wives and mothers.  Seeing the happiness that brought to them was the best Christmas gift I've ever gotten.

    •  That's wonderful. I never thought of looking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fhcec, JML9999, BardoOne

      at it like that.  You and your wife are very special people.  I hope you know that.

      •  Thanks, but I don't consider us special at all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, JML9999

        As far as serving seafarers, both my wife and I are children of fathers who were in the Navy (my wife's father for an entire career, first as an enlisted man and then, after attending the Naval Academy, as an officer), so we've got some idea of what it's like for families to be separated from fathers/husbands who are at sea -- except that merchant seafarers are away from home a much greater percentage of the time than Navy personnel.  Enabling that guy to see his wife and months-old son on Christmas night, and enabling them to see him, and seeing the joy on their faces, may have brought us almost as much joy as it did them, so we made no sacrifice at all.  It's selfless to do something that causes yourself pain; it's hardly selfless to do something that brings yourself joy.

        As far as finding the good side of deaths at special times of the year, believe me, we didn't manage to do it for the first few years.  But eventually, you find a way to do it, or I think you'd go crazy or be lost in feeling sorry for yourself.  It's sort of the corollary of our reaction as my mother (the only one of our parents who didn't die of some form of cancer) slipped further into Alzheimer's Disease.  At first, we felt guilty about laughing (after we got home, never in front of her) at some of her crazy delusions and bizarre actions.  But then we decided that we could either laugh about them, or spend most of our lives crying about them, and that it was a lot better for us and everybody around us if we shared a private laugh, rather than making ourselves and everybody around us miserable about something that nobody could change.

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