Small Things, Again

Last year I wrote a post about Small Things, inspired by my cousin-by-marriage Leslie. In it, I talked about this national schizophrenia that has overtaken us that tells us we must do all things to excess and how hard it is to feel meaningful when you're doing a lot of small things. But I had sort of come to the conclusion that the small things are the things that honestly make our lives worthwhile.

This past week would have been my next-door-neighbor's son's 18th birthday. He was tragically killed in a car accident on August 17th and witnessing the grief of his family has been one of the most heartrending experiences of my life. They are so, so, so sad. And there is no solace.

I was thinking about them and I was thinking that the only way to get through this grief is to concentrate on doing small things. Tiny remembrances and connections with their son and his life. Because to think about him gone forever --to think about it every minute of every day without respite? Therein lies madness and despair from which we can never emerge.

Just as I was thinking about this, I got an e-mail from Ei, from the comments. It said this:

In January, my nine year old niece was diagnosed with osteo-carcinoma, a cancer that manifested in the bones of her arm, and subsequently spread into her lungs through the lymphatic system. The cancer was found because a mass in her upper arm grew large enough to break the bone. She has begun chemotherapy treatments, and if they can get the tumor in her arm down to manageable size she will have her arm amputated at the shoulder.

My half-sister, Karla and her husband Dan have no health insurance and have been out of work for several weeks now caring for Emily. Their local women's club (in San Diego) is doing a fundraiser for them. If you have even a couple of dollars to spare to help them out, I know we would all appreciate it. The address to mail donations is:

Checks payable to: GFWC-MIRA MESA WOMEN'S CLUB

Mail to:
Sandra Cabral
10769 Parkdale Avenue
San Diego, Ca. 92126

For anyone who is in the San Diego area and would like details on the event being held at Fuddruckers for Emily, please email me and I'll get you the flyer.

Support a candidate this year who wants to do something about the state of health care for everyone in this nation. Emily is a good reminder of why it is so vital that this issue be addressed.

And I started looking for my checkbook, thinking how awful this situation is and how horrible for that little girl. And how with all the cancer and death out there, how can we even go on?

I think the answer is that we go on by doing the small things we can to alleviate the pain and suffering we can. So, I'm sending some money and some prayers to this little girl and her family.

But in order to not get mired in the despair of this mortal existence, there is something else I can do: I can practice active, conscious gratitude for the blessings in my own life. So, that's what I'm trying to do.

Small things.


DK said…
Amen, Barb. Amen.
Ei said…
Thank you Barb for sharing Emily's story with your communtiy as well. I should say that I'm not a praying girl in the normal sense of the word, so I do not solicit prayer. But Karla is, so I know that she will appreciate any kind thoughts, prayers, or just good old Good Vibrations that you can send them in California.

And I continue to "pray" the only way I know sending them love and support in this form, monetary and with words...and I appreciate the mighty gifts of life, particularly the most precious moments I share with my own children.
The ability to focus on the small, everyday things is essential to keep from going crazy in this overwhelming world.

That sounded canned, but I'm too tired to make it sound interesting. Maybe I'll work it into a blog post. We should all pick a day to list the small things that matter, maybe?