As I’m still very much going through the process of setting up this blogspace, I thought I’d root around in my old favourites folder for links to add and came across my link to Piers Anthony’s page.
Some necessary background. Piers Anthony was the first author who actively acknowledged my existence. Somewhere, I have a series of letters from him that we exchanged in the 90’s, where I confided a number of things to him. His Xanth series was one of the books that did a lot for me at a time in my life when I needed it most. It made me laugh when I didn’t think I could any more. No need to go into gory detail, but here was this man, this author, communicating with me in such an easy way and reminding me not to linger on all that was bad in the past but to be grateful for the present and to look to the future. In later years, we exchanged an occasional email and without prompting, he remembered me.
I have a credit for one of his puns (it’s in the back of Faun and Games: if I remember rightly, my name is first!) and I’ve always made a point of keeping up with his life.
I just read his latest newsletter and am sitting here with tears running down my face.
Nobody deserves that.
In my job, I realise on a daily basis how lucky I am to have my health. It’s a difficult job at times: some of the stories you hear about how cancer not only destroys the life of the person unfortunate enough to be diagnosed but how it affects those people around them really makes you put your life into perspective. Stories for example of the brave young woman, younger than me, who after several cycles of IVF finally became pregnant. Four months into the pregnancy she was diagnosed with aggressive, terminal rectal cancer.
She went on to have the baby and got to spend six months with him before she died. But where’s the justice in that? How hard it must be for her husband, her son and her family to keep going on after something like that.
I have no problems. Neither do most other people. So next time you’re feeling a bit whingey or you’re grumbling about how something isn’t fair, get a sense of proportion. Really.