Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's unfair!




I finally summoned the courage to call up a friend and inquire about the health of someone I love very dearly. She has had cancer in the last five years and has gone through several cycles of chemotherapy. The cancer has come back - again, and more virulently this time. There was more sad, deppressing news. But she is hanging out there although our common friend says she seems resigned and ready to let go, with dignity.

This is painful news. This friend - a former boss and mentor actually - plucked me from nowhere and guided my personal growth and professional development through nine years and through three companies.

This is a person who was so health conscious - she worked out everyday, ran regularly, did not smoke, did not drink, practiced meditation, etc., etc. Her only vice, as far as I know, was clothes; not jewelry, not shoes, not bags. Just clothes. And, oh, ballroom dancing, which when you come to think about it, is also a form of exercise. And yet she got cancer.

I know many people who smoke like their bodies need to be cigarette-cured, who drink like their systems are fueled by alcohol, and essentially make life difficult for everyone else in this planet and yet they live up to a century (or seem like it). Life is not fair.

In situations like these, I often end up making rationalizations that will not earn me points in logical deductions but somehow brings comfort no matter how minimal and fleeting and borders on being escapist: she needs to rest already (true, she has been working non-stop for 30 years), that she has done her life's work (probably, although who am I do say that? - but her only daughter is done with school and already working), there is a reason for everything (her condition is a warning and reminder to all of us that life, even at its longest, is still truly short. Whatever.

But I am sad. Really sad. Life is just unfair.

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