The Seattle PI article is out. Yeesh. I look like hell. In all, Hector did a good job describing things and checking facts. The only small "oops" (and it is truly small) is that Punky was female.
Interesting that so many have mentioned luck as a factor. What bad luck. They've had a run of bad luck. That would indicate the presence of randomness in all of this, but that doesn't explain the timing of it all. Was Sam's diagnosis just bad luck? Was it mere chance that something funky on the kidney scan made our doctor ask for a full torso CT? And my father's diagnosis just two months after that? Okay, maybe. Was Sam's death just before spring break 2005 just random, so that the kids had time away from school to be close to family? Perhaps. What about my dad dying just 6 weeks later, on Memorial Day, after a VERY rapid 2-week decline? And not directly from the cancer, but of a pulmonary embolism in the hospital? Was that random, or was he supposed to go with Sam for some higher purpose? Were those left behind supposed to learn something from the odd set of circumstances?
People die all the time. I suppose just by playing the odds you could come up with two people related by marriage dying within 1 clendar month of two unrelated, non-hereditary, rare cancers. But I'd bet those odds are astounding.
Okay, so we're reeling from having these two people ripped from our lives, and starting to get back into a semblance of normalcy and life. But wait - Christmas Eve wouldn't be complete without a little sewage in our bedrooms. Okay, sewer mains back up, I understand that. Sometimes people get flooded. On Christmas Eve (when we have winter break to deal with it). Fine. I suppose that could be random by itself too. But to lose the rest of the house in a fire on Valentine's Day (just before the President's Day/midwinter break), in combination with EVERYTHING that's happened in the last year... well, that's just a little bizarre. It smacks of fate or plan or whatever you want to call it. In my opinion (speaking from the eye of the huricane), we're meant to be changed by all of this - my kids and I are being set on a different path. I was beginning to make strides in my own life toward releasing the "couple" part of me, toward making "our" home into "my" home. But whatever forces are at work (be it a collective intelligence, my own higher consciousness or a gentle janitor played by Morgan Freeman - see Bruce Almighty), it is clear to me that we were not meant to remain in that home. That home was something that Samantha and I created with our kids. And that part of our lives is over. We have no choice but to move forward.
Bad luck? I don't think so. I think people make their own luck. And in the midst of everything terrible we are dealing with, there are bits and pieces of really good luck to be found: friends and family who drop everything to run to our aid; a school PTA which organizes food delivery so we don't have to worry about cooking every night; a vacant rental house right across the freakin' street; the firefighters who thought our situation warranted some special attention; a massive campaign by friends around the world to get us on Extreme Makeover...
Whatever lessons are to be learned in all of this are being learned. Outside of those larger lessons, we nurture relationships and try to attract positive things into our lives. Even though my kids have had their world turned upside down, they smile and hug me and know in their hearts that the universe is ultimately in balance and things will work out. Maybe that's pig-headedness, or maybe it's faith in an ordered universe. Regardless, I think it goes beyond a roll of the dice on some cosmic scale.
We are where we are for a reason, and are becoming the people we need to become. Luck... mmm, yeah, not so much.