Hostages to fortune

Posted on March 20, 2022
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There is a thing people find misleading and hurtful about Face Book. Most of us post items of happy, funny and positive family things. That can make people who are in hard financial, emotional or physical circumstances feel worse. I’m one of the ones with much to celebrate and I do. It would be less than honest, though, to let people think that’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Our family and friends are subject to the same troubles as so many families. I don’t often mention them publicly. Often they’re not my story to tell. They belong to the person they’re happening to. I also don’t want to appear ungrateful for having fewer wounds than many.
That said, I feel a need today to mention we have cancer and all the common stresses among our family and friends. Also a side effect of being alive and well at my age is so many of my family, friends and colleagues are gone, isolated or suffering debilitating conditions. When you admire, enjoy and like as many people as I do, that means you miss and grieve for more people every year. I have family members so precious I can’t imagine I deserve them. I have, in the brilliant words of Sir Francis Bacon, “given hostages to fortune”. Fortune can take a hostage from anyone at any moment.
At present every loving parent, grand parent and decent human being in the free world is seeing little Ukrainian children and their mothers saying goodbye to their fathers and husbands and attempting to reach safety. John Donne said, “Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”
All the bells in the world are tolling in our hearts. Those women, children and men were us short weeks ago.
I feel guilty for being so safe and secure and asked and able to do so little.
It is said, “Grief is the price we pay for love”. At times like these, we are reminded we also share the cost of others’ grief.               DAC


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