Saturday, August 23, 2014

"N" is for a "Near-Perfect Life....."

"Hi Doc! How are you?" This is an elderly patient, who with his wife, have been patients of mine for the last 15 years. He always has a big smile on his face whenever he comes in and invariably gives me a hug. This day was no different.
"I am okay," I replied, "What's going on with you?"
"I need all my medications refilled," he said. "For myself and my wife."
"But I refilled all your medications just last month," I said, surprised.
"Well, Doc, what can I tell you," he said with a rueful smile. "Our house burnt down last week." There was no emotion in his voice. It was steady.
"What did you say?" I asked, shocked. I didn't believe what he said. And he was still smiling ...!
"Our house burnt down," he said. "Last week. But thank God, we are okay."
"I am so sorry," I said, barely able to say anything. "That's terrible."
"That's okay, Doc. We are fine. Our life was absolutely perfect before this incident. And you know that can't last for long. Nature has to find a balance... It's the law of averages. Something, somewhere in everyone's life, is just not the way we want it to be. Just have to thank God for everything that we do have. So we are looking forward for a new beginning now."
And this person's house burnt down a few days ago!

The rest of the day hung heavy on me. But I was encouraged that these two courageous individuals were taking such a tumultuous event in their lives so well. But the more I thought about what he said, the more it made sense to me. He was right-- plain and simple. In mostly everyone's life, there is a little something that makes life "Near perfect", rather than "Perfect". May it be financial issues, personal battles, job-related tussles, health issues, a so called "friend" who's hobby is to talk behind your back, a jealous paranoid relative, battling the bulge etc. etc....... the list can be never ending. 

Accepting these mild pin-pricks, and moving on, is the essence of life. Situations can improve, money can come and go, but after a certain age, people will not change. Folks are going to do or say what they are wired to do, no matter what.

We all are not clones, and as we move on in years, we will grow closer to some people and grow apart from others. The caveat would be to surround ourselves with people who think like us, make us laugh and essentially share the same values. Maintaining a respectful distance from some is good for one's peace of mind, not because these are not good people, they are just different. You give back exactly what you receive and that can make life "Near-Perfect!" Speaking from my personal experience, we are surrounded by people who give us much more love & respect than we probably deserve, and I only hope we can reciprocate in kind.

"If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade..... if it gives you vodka, invite like-minded people and have a party!" ~ Ron White