Saturday, February 13, 2010

Luck, gratitude, an aside.

Such people sometimes write to me about their thoughts of suicide, and I think nothing separates me from them but luck.

That really resonated with me. So often I look at the things for which I am grateful and I know that I did not earn them, do not deserve them, and would be bereft without them. Especially my wife and my children.

Words fail me.

As an aside, I confess that I don't blog about work. There is not much to say. I'm impressed by the significant efforts they make to abide by their code of conduct. Talking with my brothers about my boss led to a discussion of how in 30-40 years most of us had had, at most, one boss we really respected as making life and work better. Mostly a "good" boss is merely one who does not make things too much worse. A very good boss -- one in a hundred -- that is what I have right now. I like my co-workers.

My work is mentally demanding and challenging. I don't blog much about the attorneys on the other side of me in cases, but I have been impressed, over all, by the level of integrity many of them attempt to bring to what they do, and the brilliance of some. This last week I was on the other side of a case of an attorney who bills $600 an hour or more. I would say he is worth it.

I'm not going to mention his name either, because I do not want to change my focus, but I feel very lucky in every regard.

My wife has often told me that if she dies before she does, she expects me to remarry as a tribute to how much marriage did and does for me. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone who could fill my life, be my heart, give me joy, as she has and does. I had hopes for marriage, expectations as well, and dreams. She doesn't understand, but she has given me a life better than I had dreamed possible.

Yes, I've had some incredibly bad luck. A friend noted that the way my daughters died was like winning the lottery in reverse, not once, not twice, but three times in three different ways. But on the balance I've had incredibly good luck as well. Just more extreme, with a balance that is not always obvious from the outside.

So, some people tell me that I've had a life that must have not let me know any hardship or loss and that I can't understand. Others told me I must have deep stains on my soul or God would not have let such hardship affect me. I could use a good editor ;)

But mostly, I remind myself that I am grateful.


annegb said...

This is a hard one for me. I have things to be grateful for, but they are often outweighed by the despair.

Although, I realized the other day I've lived 2/3 of my life and while it seems like yesterday since James died, I probably have that long to live. And that lifted me in a really weird way. I think I can make it.

Stephen said...

I realized I had only been married 25 years and Jessica had been dead 17 (I know, I'm 53, but I feel like only my life since marriage counts).

Once you've survived for a while, it is amazing the comfort it gives to think there is not that much longer left.

Heather said...

Darn it, I don't think the young are supposed to be jealous of age.