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Sunday March 09, 2003

Again, ungrateful

It's the second full day of spring break and I'm already complaining. I'm starting to experience friend-and-neighbor withdrawal, because being at home leaves me feeling so disconnected. I don't like it. And after getting home Friday, I came down with the sniffles, and now my head feels like an over-filled water balloon. But I'm happy that I'm at home where I've got my big comfy bed and my parents make me breakfast each morning. I'm such a princess.

Actually, I really shouldn't be complaining at all. Today when my family had lunch together, my sister-in-law told me of her friend's young daughter whose kidneys have been failing. They had to go shopping for her because her illness causes her to be extremely bloated, and she doesn't have clothes that fit. She needed stretchy pants that she can wear when she retains a lot of fluid. To limit her incredible bloating, she can only have three cups of fluid per day, and she can't go to school because her immune system is so weak.

When I hear about stories like that, my emotions go back and forth between gratitude (that I don't have that problem), guilt (that I complained about myself), and sorrow (for the one who's suffering like that). The more I think about it, the more I realize that in spite of all the difficulties in my life (and there have been many), I've had it pretty damn good. God's given me more than my fair share of the good life, and it's hard for me to imagine what it must be like for others.

I wonder what it's like to be a kid, and be so bloated that most pants will not fit. I wonder what it's like to be away from my friends at school all the time, and not just during a week-long break. And what does it feel like having an illness that turns your whole life around, before you're old enough to multiply? I don't know. I couldn't know, because I've never dealt with anything like it before. I've been too damn lucky.

Read March 9th, 2003.