Visit the MDS Foundation to support research or learn about Myelo-Displatic Syndromes

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Nature of People

When something terrible happens to you, it is generally expected and understood that family and close friends will step in and offer support and/or assistance. It's often a sad tale read in a news article or blog when some poor soul is in a bind and has no one to help in their time of need. I can remember personally being shocked and disgusted in hearing about a loved one or child left abandoned and alone to deal with overwhelming or horrible circumstances. Not everyone has someone, but everyone with someone hopes and expects that that someone will be with them through thick and thin. But, I ask, what about those not-so-close friends, distant relatives, or acquaintances? To what expectation should these, more casual relationships, be held in a time of need? I think it's fair to assume that in most cases, casual, less intimate notes of support and well wishes perhaps via a card or short letter are more than adequate and surmount to a great level of appreciation. In cases of the more casual acquaintance, many are not aware of personal situations that arise unexpectedly and only in hearing through the proverbial grapevine or chance meeting, can they express condolences or support. At this point, although, Lora and I are only in the very beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long process, I’ve already witnessed this human phenomenon at all of these levels. Close family, distant family, close friends, distant friends, old friends, casual acquaintances, business acquaintances, neighbors. All behaving as one would expect given bad news about yours truly (or ours truly). But the one common thread amongst all of these relationships is the fact that they all know us. The topic of this post is really outside the scope of these predictable relationships. My question is of the person or persons who don’t really know you at all. I’ve spoken of the subject once before in Lora’s caring bridge blog (Well, sort of) discussing the idea of blood donation. In that case, I think people can put a more personal spin on the “random act of kindness” knowing that it is an everyday need, and not all that much of an inconvenience. Bone marrow donation is significantly more demanding of time and money, as it costs a bit to register and you’ll likely make multiple visits and spend a day in outpatient surgery. You’ll also leave with a painful reminder of where that stuff came from. A literal pain in the ass. But this is still not my point, as it is a known statistic that most people join the bone marrow donor registry because someone they’ve known or love needed or had a BM transplant. This places them into the first category I mentioned, as it is at least motivated by someone they know well. There are special people out “there” whom do not need motivation or recognition to do something out of the ordinary for someone they do not really even know. Prior to now, my only exposure to people like this was the families featured on extreme home makeover every Sunday. I can’t honestly say that I fit into this category either, as I’m generally too skeptical to risk falling for some scam or rip off. I don’t give money to charity (I don’t have any), and I’ve never followed through with ponderence of volunteering as a big brother or some other sort of surrogate dad type of charitable role. I’m not a bad person, but neither am I one of the special types of people that give, even when they don’t have. I would like to be. I’ll say this right now, consider this intermission, that Microsoft grammar checker can kiss my rear end. If it doesn’t like my sentences, it apparently didn’t go to public school. Never mind that, and to my original point, I’m not going to go into details about what inspired this post, but I did find, rather they found me, some of the special people we’re talking about. With nothing to gain, and no personal ties to Lora and me, some very special people invested time, money, energy, and resources to support a cause that is not in the public eye and will likely never offer a return. So with great humility and a new (or renewed) confidence in the nature of people, I want to thank everyone at Team Link in Mass, as well as all of the friends and family that have shown us so much support in the past few months. For those of you closest to us, prepare to dig in, because the going, is going to get a lot tougher in the months to come. For those of you whom are not close, take cue from my Brazilian friends and go out and do something for someone. It’ll make the place better for us all.

Viva o Brasil

1 comment:

  1. Hey Brent you are a great writer. Thank you for being so honest about what you are thinking and going through!! We are praying for you, Lora and the boys. I know God is good, may not seem like it right now but He is. There is a song that says "sometimes God calms the storm and other times He calms His child". I pray he is calming you He will walk through this with you! Love you all.