Life teaches you to have distance to situations you come across. Poor are those, who were given such a lesson and they did not draw conclusion from it, meaning did not change their attitude. For me, one of the key findings in those days was that, drama can take on different faces, and that point of view depends on where you sit. What will look like an end of the world for one will be just a minor issue for the other. Your childhood crisis looks funny to grownups, love related issues would be blessing for those who don’t have money to buy food, and stress at work would be nice break from constant pain suffered by oncological or neurological patients. Strangely those who suffer less are often much louder from those who are really in pain.
“How are you?” I asked the person calling me.
“My world just ended, he left me, there is no point of living anymore…he was everything to me…” The tears started to fall on the other side.
“Cheer up, I know you were seeing each other only 3 months, but I can expect that it can be real drama for you.” I tried to put her heart into peace.
“I will try…but you know… I need time…and how is your life?”
“I am fine. No change, my son is still fighting with this deadly anomaly in his body, but I am sure we will manage. We will beat it and have our life back.” I replied trying not to sound like her problems were nothing compared to ours, but more showing that even if this kind of situation you should not lose hope.
“…I know my problems are nothing compared to yours…” her voice started to be much calmer.
“Yes. You’re right” I smiled trying to bring better mood into the conversation.” Remember this next time you will start to cry because of some jerk leaving you”. She smiled back to me.
Those were times when knowing that not many people can help me, understand me, I can at least show them how lucky they are not to have worse problems.
Most of those who lived the same and understood me well were very supportive, compassionate, and in most cases their story was no better from ours. But there were also people who for some strange reason still needed to compete. Still trying to show whose life was hit more significantly and whose was just dabbed by real life tragedy. Let’s leave them aside for a moment and come back to the facility.
“Tell me, which door would you like to choose? One where you come here for a week, they do few quick tests, sometimes performed a surgery, and at the end of that week you know if your child either flew to heaven or is disqualified. Or maybe the second one where you wait. You wait weeks, months, sometimes even years. Each day can be the one where they will say – “Now it’s time!”. Each day is one more day stolen from them. One more day given to you to spend more time with your loved one. Each day which may bring another chance to sabotage the flight. Tell me, do you prefer to know it quickly or wait and just use that time as best as you can. Knowing that the day will come but you just don’t know when…”
There are ten floors at CSD, each one carries different training courses. Key ones are – floor number six, heart uniqueness, most of cadets come here for short period of time. Captains run few stress tests, perform a surgery and at the end parents are told if their child is qualified, which in many cases it means flying to heaven within that time spent in CSD. If not, as the anomaly was fixed by accident and cadet no longer qualifies, they send the child home. Floor number three, sight anomalies. Most of the cadets who are send to this floor will not be qualified for the flight. Reason why they train them is to find something, more unique anomaly, which would allow them to move the cadet to our, seventh floor. My dilemma is fifth and tenth floor – neurological uniqueness. Cadets here showed high brain potentials. They could envision things non-other could. Problem is that in most cases their brain had to disable other functions to perform those tasks. Here you could see, what parents called, disable children, with cerebral palsy or epilepsy, which often is down to either no contact with their child or having a ticking bomb in their head. One that could explode any moment without giving any warning. Each time I saw them pressing button with either 5 or 10 I felt compassion, seeing in their eye despair caused by conscious constantly remaining them that their child will not survive without sever consequences. And all they have is just waiting for the flight while taking care of their beloved, not really knowing what he/she is like. The only thing that they can be sure of is that from time to time he/she suffers lots of pain, as those visions came with a price.
Coming back to the competition visible on our floor. You could hear parents talking from time to time, on whose child is more special. “70 percent chance for a flight?” Asked one of the mothers ensuring she heard it right. “I would love to have that much. My son has only 90 percent. You know what that means? There is only 10 percent chance, he will not make it. That I will be able to take him home with me…” You could see tears appearing on her eyes, when she was saying that. My key take from life is that many times it acts very ironically on us. Especially in those kinds of cases. Later, it was him with only 10 percent of chance to be disqualified, who left for home, while the one with 30 percent made the flight.
Luckily there are also people who have distance to all of that, knowing that those emotions are not really helping, changing anything…just making your life worse…like it would really need to be.
“What you worry about?” She asked with a bit of surprise. “I forgot to give her Lugol’s iodine before the test!” Mark replied nervously. “So what? Worst case scenario this will just give her thyroid cancer. They will take it out and she will be fine. Not like what she is having now.”. She replied with a bit of irony in her voice, as in those kinds of moments you just don’t know if you should cry or laugh.
Life can be a great teacher. What is huge tragedy for one, for you is just another road block, which you overcome quickly and do not spend much time on it.