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“Life is Like a Box of Chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”  Forrest Gump

Life Lesson: Just go out and enjoy yourself.  No need to worry about the cards that you area going to be dealt.  You can’t change ides but moreso

This week my personal comfort of where I am in the stages of life was challenged.  I reacted the way all people do.  We all do it.  We can’t help it.  When surrounded by tragedy and tales of sadness that make you think, our body and mind react in a self-defense mode..  Let’s face it. When we all heard about the Air France flight, we thought about whether we’d want to fly that same route that plane took and how we’d be if we knew someone on that plane.

Even closer to home, a little 7-year-old girl who is a friend of my daughter found out that she has a brain tumor and will be undergoing surgery to have it removed.  The proximity of our relationship to the girl has us and our daughter’s classmates all feeling terribly sad for this young girl and her family.  I do have to admit that the thoguht ran through my head – “What if that were my own daughter?”  And of course I thanked someone up there that it was not my little girl.  Guilty?! Yes…we all do it.  We worry and pray for those struck with a curveball that life has tossed.  And we hope that curveball doesn’t get thrown at us .

I remember going to my uncle’s funeral when I was 16.  I cried looking at him in his casket.  Yes, he was one of my favorite uncles, but when I saw him and because he resembled my own dad, it just hit me how much I loved my own dad and thankful I was that my dad was still there.  Years later, when my dad did pass, my friends came to console me and I looked at my best friend who had lost his father a decade before me.  I looked and asked him how I’d do without my dad.  I know we are grown me but we still need our dads.  He told me you never get over the loss of a good dad.  I knew he wasn’t sitting there at the funeral saying, “I’m glad it wasn’t my dad” since he had already lost his dad.  In fact he told me that my own dad’s funeral reminded him of his own dad’s death and then he lost it.

When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, the moms in our kid’s school were great and really rallied around our family.  Once again I know it was proximity.  Proximity of being a mom with young children.  With one in 8 women getting breast cancer, these moms knew my wife might have been the first, but they knew the chances were high that other moms would get it and that they could be next.  They understood our troubles, but they also knew this was  a situation that could hit them just as easily.

Is it okay to feel this way?  Of course it is.  It is human nature.  This weekend is the funeral of  a friend of the family.  The eldest daughter asked me for some advice given that I was an expert and had been through the same thing.  I told her it was not the same.  Every night for 5 months I had read my friend’s bedside account of her mother’s poor health on www.caringbridge.com until she passed.  We can only learn from our own experiences and from those around us.  We are dealt many cards in life and it is okay to put ourselves in those situations and wonder “What if?”.  What if that were me?  What if that were my daughter or son?  What if my daughter had gotten cancer like that little girl http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/05/19/earlyshow/health/main5024777.shtml?

Life is definitely like a box of chocolates that way.

Ah but life isn’t always filled with the coconut filled or cherry filled chocolates.  Sometimes you do get the nuts or caramels that you prefer and others start to follow because they wonder, “what if I had the nuts and caramels”  How happy would they be to be like me?  In the end we should all hope that we get the chocolates we want and when we don’t we should observe what we would, could or should do