Have the searing heat and the national debt debate got you down? A scan of newspapers, Internet and television news and Facebook posts, not to mention those oft-forgotten personal conversations, shows a pretty grumpy America. We’re hot and we’re mad and we wonder how things could get any worse. Hrumph.
As I thought this morning about what to wear that would absorb the perspiration, and dreaded doing all the things I have to do today and over the weekend that involve going out in the 100-degree weather, my calendar spoke to me.
It happens that I’m scheduled to visit two hospice patients today and tomorrow. One visit involves taking an elderly patient out to an appointment. This woman asked me yesterday if I wanted to cancel because she was afraid the heat was going to be too much for me. This is the same woman who, when I expressed my condolences for the recent passing of her husband, said, “Thank you, but there are so many people worse off than I am.”
This is not intended to be about how people experience grief or face their mortality, or even to talk about who’s worse off than whom. We’re all entitled to our own feelings and, when it comes to misery, there’s no hierarchy.
But I’m choosing to see it that way this weekend. Yes, it’s 115 degrees in our cars. Yes, our country is swirling down with the Ty-D Bowl man in his little boat, taking our personal savings and investments right along with it.
But for the next two days, I’ll be with people who are facing some pretty unpleasant issues as well. My plan is to live in their realities for a while, and hopefully exchange the humidity and the national brawl for some perspective.