Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Disease and Death

At last, some relatively seasonal weather, or at least something that meets community standards that have been steadily lowering ("At least I have haven't had to scrape frost.") Blustery and cool beats snow, tornadoes and flooding.

I've been perusing our recently acquired new cable channels, and one in particular doesn't thrill me, that being the change of Fit TV to Discovery Fit and Health. I wasn't a big watcher of Fit TV (all workouts, all the time) but the new channel seems to be mostly freak shows, some with the word actually in the name ("Freaky Eaters"). Really large or incredibly small people, hoarders, ER oddities, people with gigantic tumors or other rare diseases....if there's an odd medical or psychological condition, it's on there. A co-worker asked me what purpose these shows serve, and I had to admit I hadn't thought about it, and couldn't think of anything legitimate. I suppose they can classified as either there-but-for-the- grace-of-God-go-I or the point-and-ridicule group, depending of your level of sympathy. Either way it seems a bit unseemly for the Discovery Networks.

My daughter recently went through one of those life experiences we all face at some point, though not usually this soon; the death of a friend, in this case sadly at only 20yo of liver disease. They had been pretty close in junior high and high school. The friend had moved to Sioux Falls after graduation, so we didn't know about the illness, which added to the shock. The poor girl had a hard life, with a father who molested her and her siblings as youngsters and a mother who was so ineffectual that the children were taken away for a year and (as I understand it) only given back to the mother after she had left him. (Frankly, I doubt the wisdom of that return. I only met the mother once, but I wouldn't trust her to feed a fish.) Even then the girl was the glue that held the household together, which is no way to grow up. She had been planning on becoming a chef when I last talked to her a couple of years ago, before the disease. Sometimes it seems some people are born under a cloud.

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