Don't get me wrong, sometimes I think Facebook is a wonderful thing (indeed, I will likely share this post there). But tonight, as I saw posts of so many happy people and so many productive check lists, I may have snarled inside. I know, it's really just that I'm in a bad mood, feeling cabin fever, some regret over eating half a tub of Edy's Drumstick ice cream, and some other emotion I won't even try to dissect right now. But really, all of the lists of how much people accomplished today, how many miles they ran, and how happy their kids were while mine drove me nuts, well, I won't lie, it kind of got to me.
Admittedly, it got to me in a really selfish sort of way. Basically, since I felt shitty, deep down I didn't want to see others so happy. I just wanted to pout, and I almost went to bed at 8pm to put all that bad karma to rest. Instead, I decided to write. And that's when I realized something.
* * *
Brian and I have two friends (a couple) who are going through a really hard time. I've debated whether to include their names since most people who read this blog will know who I'm talking about, but I'll call them "Phil" and "Daisy" since they don't know about this post yet.
Phil was diagnosed with ALS less than a year ago and Daisy, his lovely wife, has taken care of him every minute since (and for decades before). This past summer I got to spend some time with Phil and Daisy and to learn more about them.
One of the many things I learned about this couple is that despite that they wanted children, they were never able to have them. Teddy and Annabel were running around us when they told me that, and my heart broke for them.
Since then, Teddy and Annabel have gotten to know Phil and Daisy. Our friends stop by almost every other week to say hello and bring the kids gifts. On Christmas Eve, they arrived with so many presents (mostly Batman-themed for Annabel and baseball-themed for Teddy), that we joked they were Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The best part of that night was watching Phil and Daisy enjoy the kids while they opened up their gifts. They lit up at the sight of our kids' joy.
I know that people are allowed to be a bad mood and get periodically annoyed by Facebook. I know that a lesson doesn't have to come from each time that happens. But tonight, while I pouted my way through cute post after cute post, I realized that people like Phil and Daisy are rare treasures.
Because the more common person (like me) has trouble seeing others happy when they're not. They feel bad inside when others have something that they don't have, whether it be a significant other, a house, money, a particular job, good looks, good health, or a child. I can't lie, I fall into that trap every now and then, and I unknowingly fell into it tonight.
That's when it hit me that it's a truly remarkable person who finds great joy out of watching someone else have something that he or she will never have. Phil and Daisy are just this kind of truly remarkable. They are why I should snap out of it, clean my house, and, for the love of all that is good and holy, go take a shower.