Nothing could be further from the truth... while I didn't *know* Jen, photographers are nosy people... lololol. We like to know about each other, what camera's we use, our studio practices and prices and where we get our props. If we're good, we're always looking at each other to learn from each other and find out about the latest and greatest tips and tricks before everyone else does.
In that way, we are a bit of a 'close' community and with the help of social media - we're all privy to everyone's personal business and lives these days. By that same token, I feel like people post things because they want people to know what they are going through - to be grateful that we not going through it, possibly to learn from it, or just to vent. Either way, I'm the kind of person that if I take the time to read about you and your life... then I will pray for you, donate for you - help 'you' in whatever way I can.
I'm not a looky-loo. I don't just slow down at a car wreck to see the blood and gore and drive away... I'm more of a 'pull over and help' kind of person. I'm also not the kind of person who talks about the bad things happening to other people just to talk.... I like to see what I can learn from their situation - the mistakes they made, etc - but mostly see if I can do anything to help.
As soon as this happened with El Capitan, I was *very* open about it with my friends and stuff - probably too open for some... but, sometimes just watching someone else walk a mile in their own shoes helps you avoid walking that same mile in your own shoes.
Our trip to Disneyland was ... AH. MAZING. But, it was tainted with the bittersweet knowledge that a friend's daughter was having a very serious surgery. Her daughter, Baby A, was born with half a heart. She's had several surgeries before now... but this one - right smack in the middle of our vacation, was going to be the "big" surgery.
Initially, Baby A did really well. Then.... suddenly Baby A started not doing so well and the result is a large blood clot on the brain that has done some amount of damage and possibly continues to do more damage.
Our group of friends organized a meal train (the fantastic JennyB), and several of my friends are regular visitors at Baby A's bedside (the rough and ready Miss Erin) - and I have set about trying to find way to fund raise for the various needs that Baby A's family are now going to (unexpectedly) face.
Oh.... and I roll in to hang out with Baby A's Mom who is ..... hanging on by a very small, teeny, tiny thread.
I know that life isn't a 'competition' - and the truth is - everyone's pain and situation is 'real': to them.
People live through rape and cancer and miscarriages.... and even philandering husbands - and come out the other side, bruised, changed, different, but unscathed. Then there are people who can't handle simple things and a bad experience with Microsoft's support center has them going all 'Office Space' on their home computer.
No one problem is truly greater than another.... there's no prize for having a life that's more f*cked than the guy next to you (though... honestly, at this point, I could give a few people a run for their money on that one), but I was *raised* around people who had seen the worst atrocities that one man could afflict upon another and yet the only reminder would be the faded numbers etched on a forearm that was attached to the smiling woman, sitting at the table at Pass Over, handing me a basket of rolls.
No daily reminder of the pain, the torture... the immense loss she had lived through - lingering in her eyes.
Just a smile, and love for life. In Judaism, there is a saying that life is for the living: so live.
Well, at least my Grandma say's it all the time.
She also say's that really really really really really annoying thing: "Everything happens for a reason."
Right now.... I'm not sure why Baby A has a blood clot, or why her family is going through this. I suppose, as G*d has yet to reveal to me the inner most secrets of the world - that I won't have an answer for this one. When I start to complain about El Capitan and what's going on there.... my mind goes to seeing Baby A in her bed, hooked up to machines and wires and bandages.
When I think about the mounting pressure of what the hell I'm going to do for money ....... I think about how lucky I am to even *need* to take care of my (knock wood) healthy children. And, frankly, I think about all the single Moms out there facing the same thing and how I might joke about strapping a mattress to my back to make ends meet - there are women who feel they actually *have* to do that for their children to survive.
Mostly though.... I sit and think about how, no matter how bad my day is right now, no matter what my troubles are, what stress I'm under, or broken my heart or my smile are... to some degree - Baby A's Mom would *really* like to trade me problems right now.
Since I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on TV... there is little I can do for Baby A and her family beyond visit and support them emotionally. (oh, did I mention I'm hoping to do some fundraising for them?)
I can't remove the cords, or take away her pain, and my words are, no doubt, little comfort to Baby A's Mom - BUT.... I know there is power is prayer. There is power in positivity. There is power in taking a few seconds to send some happy thoughts or prayers or whatever it is you do or whoever it is you pray to..... and ask for some healing and some help for Baby A and her family.
As Grandma say's, someone somewhere always has it worse than you.... it's humbling when that