A moment of clarity in a cloudy world

I spent the morning today at Sick Kids Hospital due to a regular follow-up appointment for Mr. T. For some reason today there were a lot of children around who were obviously going through Chemo. Looking at their little faces and their bald heads was breaking my heart. It seems so unfair that these children who are just beginning in life already have to face such a tough battle. Yet you know what struck me the most? They were all smiling. These kids were facing, what I can only imagine, is the toughest battle of their little lives and they were happy, smiling, laughing.

To be honest it made me feel ashamed. There are times in my life when I feel like life is so tough. I sit there feeling sorry for myself, thinking why is life so hard. Poor me, I have to work all day, deal with traffic on my commute home, come home to a messy house, tantruming children and I still have to make dinner, do dishes, tidy up…etc.etc.etc…I could go on and on with my responsibilities…Poor me! I’m healthy. Poor me!My family is healthy. Poor me!  I’ve been blessed with two of the most beautiful children, a wonderful husband, the most amazing supportive extended family one could ask for. Poor me! I have a job, which means I can pay my bills, put food on the table and a roof over my kids head. Poor me!

What exactly should I feel sorry for??? What exactly is so hard about my life?

Let me answer that…nothing. My life is wonderful. I am so very fortunate. These children made me feel so ashamed because if they are able to face the battle they are facing with a smile on their face then I sure as hell can face life’s every day responsibilities with a smile on mine! Who the hell am I to complain?

NOthing in my life is hard. In fact, I have it easy. I am not sitting up at night worrying that my children may not make it through the night. I don’t have to watch my little one’s sit there while they have poison pumped through their veins to combat a disease which may still beat them. I don’t have to watch them vomit uncontrollably, lose their hair and suffer through such unimaginable pain and not be able to do a damn thing about it.

I have it easy.

My in-laws neighbors son has been diagnosed with Leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. His parents are not matches. Can you imagine what they must be going through? He’s 7. You want to talk about unfair?

I have it easy.

The other thing that I struck me while I was at the hospital today were the doctors. I watched the doctors interacting with their patients. I watched doctors walk out of the surgical wing, with their scrubs on, waiting in line at Starbucks to get a coffee. I saw them smile and say hello at people walking by. I saw them take time out of their busy lives to acknowledge the children, their parents and their co-workers.

I worked in an office where some of the executives would walk by me and not even look up from their blackberry’s for long enough to notice I was there. I listened to some of the executives order their administrative assistants to pick up their dry cleaning or get them a coffee, and a second later yell at them for not getting their reports printed on time. I worked with people who really, in essence, did nothing more than push papers who walked around the office with an arrogance about them that was disgusting yet here are these doctors that are literally saving lives…saving our children’s lives, and they will smile at you, they are polite and say hello.. they, god forbid, get their own coffees. Can you imagine that? If anyone should walk around with arrogance shouldn’t it be these people? Mr. T’s surgeon operated on a 4 pound something tiny baby. Can you imagine how tiny the esophagus and trachea is of a 4 pound something baby? Yet she fixed it! The operating team manually pumped his heart when it stopped beating! These people are amazing! Yet Mr. Office Pete can’t get his own coffee because he feels himself to be important enough to have someone else get his coffee! It makes me laugh. These people make me laugh. I feel sorry for them because in my mind they are foolish people and they don’t even realize how foolish they are.

What does it say about our society when our business executives demand to be treated as Kings and Queens…and we play along!!! Our business executives are higher maintenance than our doctors? What kind of society do we live in?

I ask you, who will you call if you or your children’s lives are in jeopardy? Will it be Mr. Office Pete? I don’t think so. 

My trip to Sick Kids cleared my mind today. It made me realize just how lucky I am. It made me hug my little guys a little closer. It made me even more grateful for my family than ever. It also put some things into perspective for me. It solidified a career decision that I recently made and it reinforced something that I already knew, my family is the most important thing in my life. Nothing comes above it.