Monday, April 02, 2007

Learning from CF

This is a great article over at the Canton Repository. Here's the beginning:

Recently, a co-worker, an intelligent but brash young man, asked me a question about my late husband, Jim, that irritated me.

He said, "You knew about his cystic fibrosis before you married hi, didn't you?" In other words, Jim was "damaged goods," and what was I thinking to marry him? The question also implies that illness precludes one from happiness and a normal life. How could a sick person possibly be a good mate?

I swallowed my pride, thinking this young man hadn't had life experiences that would allow him to understand why I had married under those circumstances. Then he asked, "Didn't your husband hate being alive?"

That one blindsided me. I answered as calmly as I could that Jimmy had loved living. Yes, he was short of breath. Yes, a bulky oxygen tank encumbered him. Yes, he had to do daily therapies, but at no time did I hear him say, "Gee, I'm sorry I woke up today!"

Read the whole thing. As for me, I agree. It's amazing how many people are totally insensitive to this issue. Like just because I had CF or whatever I shouldn't have any goals, shouldn't want a normal life like everyone else. I should just languish here and let nature take its course. In fact, soon after I was diagnosed, one of my classmates said to me, "Why are you studying? You're just going to die anyway." That was a great thing for an 11 year old to hear, let me tell you.
People can be so crass. And they just assume that you shouldn't do anything, that your life isn't worth living if it isn't perfect. GRRRRR.

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