Amidst a World of Sorrow

The world seems to be conspiring to make it difficult to keep my resolution to keep a positive attitude for the next few weeks.

I’ve contacted my annual after-Christmas cold, which generally seems a small price to pay for so much Christmas cheer, a chance to play with grandchildren, and a chance to dine with relatives from far and near. I really didn’t need a cold this year, though, as I was supposed to start stockpiling blood for my upcoming surgery. As it turns out, they were afraid of me re-infecting myself after the surgery so they canceled today’s blood drawing.

That means I’m off to the doctor later today to get some medication to hopefully ensure that I’m well by next week’s donation date and that I’m as strong as possible for the end-of-the-month surgery. Hopefully I’ll even be out walking again in the next few days, though I really can’t promise that yet.

Most depressing of all, though, has been the recent tsunami disaster in Asia, added on top of all the misery that our planet already seems to be suffering. I’ve tried avoiding the pictures altogether, but have found it nearly impossible to avoid the news, the constantly rising death figures, and the ugly squabbles over whether or not America is “stingy” with its contributions to the world’s poor. Somehow when you compare our country’s offer of $35 million, even that apparently increased since the original figure was criticized, to the millions spent trying to subdue Iraq, it’s hard to pronounce us “generous.”

Perhaps I would even feel better if I could whip out my checkbook and give generously to those who have suffered so much and have so little, but, ironically enough, I have just begun to receive the bills for my cancer treatment and realize my co-pay will run into the thousands, and perhaps well more than that. What I thought was a generous saving account may well not cover my share of the hospital and doctor expenses. I know the money I need will be there when I need it, but not knowing the ultimate cost is just one more thing to worry about when there already seemed more than enough to worry about.

Amidst this vast sea of sorrow
why is it always easiest to see —
our own small vessel foundering?