I have a friend, I guess he’s actually more of an acquaintance. We were friends in high school, and recently reconnected on Facebook a couple of years ago.
In high school, he was the class clown, the king of the pun. You could never take anything he said seriously. He was such a card that when he told me one morning, before class started, that his father had died the night before, I didn’t believe him, and scoffed at him. It turns out, he wasn’t joking that time. The guilt I felt for that haunted me for nearly 30 years, until I was able to tell him, on Facebook, how ashamed I was of myself. The funny thing is that he doesn’t remember me being there.
Anyway, since high school, he has become a Methodist minister. When I first discovered this, I wasn’t sure I wanted to friend him on Facebook. I am not a believer, and I have little trust in organized religions, nor the people who run them.
At first, I was very cautious on the things I said to him. I didn’t want to offend, and I really didn’t want to start any kind of debates about gay rights, or other hot button issues. But, one of the things I’ve learned during this past presidential season is that he is more liberal than I am, which surprised the crap out of me. I didn’t think ANYONE I went to high school with would be more liberal that me, let alone a Methodist minister.
Anyway, the point is, that this is a man who cares very deeply for everyone. He has a heart bigger than anyone else I know. He’s kind, and sweet, and loving. He has a wife and two beautiful young children.
OK, now, here’s why I’m asking why would go do this…His wife has some serious medical issues. I don’t know exactly what the underlying diagnosis is, but I think she has diabetes, and some other chronic ailments. But I do know that in the 2 to 3 years that he and I have been Facebook friends it seems like she’s been in the hospital more than she’s been home. The most recent incidence involved an abscessed leg that eventually had to be amputated. The surgery had to be rescheduled several times because of one thing or another, but finally, several weeks ago, they took the leg. I don’t know what the normal recovery time is for this kind of procedure is, but with today’s health insurance, I can’t imagine they’d let her stay for more than a week or so, but she continued to have complications, and excessive pain.
Yesterday, he posted that they’d had to rearrange the whole house because her new wheelchair was not going to fit through their bedroom door, so their bedroom was moved to the living room, and the kids played musical bedrooms. He was hoping she’d finally come home today.
This afternoon, he simply posted She’s home. He received 71 likes for this simple post, including 1 from me. I was really happy for him, and for the children. I can’t imagine the stress on all of them during all of this.
Only a few hours later, he posted that he’d had to call an ambulance to come and pick her up and take her back to the hospital. She’d been vomiting ever since she’d gotten home, and he couldn’t get her to the car by himself. He hopes it’s just a problem with her medication.
I’m keeping her in my thoughts, but seeing as I’m not a religious person I won’t be a hypocrite and say I’ll pray. And when these sorts of things happen to people like him, and his family it just reinforces my doubts. How could a good and just god allow this sort of pain and suffering to happen someone who’s dedicated his whole life to the word of the bible.
Through all of her medical issues, he’s also had to deal with his congregation, along with his mentor’s death, and some other extended family and friend issues. He’s the guy everyone goes to for guidance, so I wonder who he goes to. I truly hope that he has someone who can be there for him.
I don’t know how he can keep his faith through all of this. But if there is a god, I also hope that my friend has had enough, and that things begin to look up for him.