Unless this is your first time visiting this blog and you don’t know me or my family, you know too-well the hell Kirsten and our family have endured these past few months as we persevere through her declining health. While it’s always difficult to document my deep sadness and enumerate my frustrations, this post is written with a great amount of humility and pleasure.
In the past couple weeks, I have received in the mail two generous cash gifts. The first was from a Christian woman with whom my single exchange was a disagreement about the nature and efficacy of god. When she learned of my situation, she reached out to help, setting aside our differences. The second was from a fellow former Mormon who had learned of our plight from a group on Facebook of which we are both members. Niether one of these women I have ever met, except for brief online exchanges.
Baristas at local coffee shops I frequent have bought me coffee and given me hugs. And, thanks to an old friend who keeps supplying me with Starbucks gift cards, I have stayed hydrated, caffeinated, and nourished. :)
While the monetary gifts are needed and appreciated, what keeps me moving forward on a daily basis, besides my deep and constant love of Kirsten and the girls, are the smiles, comments, hugs, and well-wishes from friends and family, both near and far. You are all a deep well of strength for which I will be forever grateful.
We all sojourn on this pale blue marble, hanging in the black vastness of space (yet far from empty). We are born with unique and complex genetics, which determine and govern our neurochemistry and neurobiology, which in turn dictate entirely our metabolism, moods, sympathetic responses, etc. None of us choose our parents, siblings, birth country, or childhood socio-economic status. I don’t believe in free will. Choice, I think it’s obvious, is determined by a complex cacophony of cumulative experience and our biological brains. This understanding should charge us with a deep sense of compassion for others, and cause us to resist judgment, however natural or intuitive.
I’m currently reading Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angles of our Nature” which is a tome whose thesis is that violence has dramatically declined in the course of human history, for various reasons. So while reading the daily newspaper may fill us with a sense of vulnerability and sadness, the reality is that the world is a wonderful place, filled with amazing, kind, generous, talented, hard-working, happy people like yourselves. You give me great hope, and fill me with an immense sense of belonging.
Note regarding the title – Actions or expressions which invoke in me emotions of love and happiness don’t actually elevate the temperature of my heart. It’s a silly phrase, I admit. Even if they did, what difference would that make worth noting? I digress. Is there a better phrase. If so, I don’t know it?