Yesterday was a depressing day (ah, "Depression"—yet another dreaded “D” word). I met a friend for lunch, and talk turned to the very recent death of her friend (age 40) from Cancer. My mom is also fighting Cancer (well, not so much “fight”—it started out sort of like a tiff, and has now progressed to a full-blown feud). Cancer is a scary prospect: you can do everything right—eat healthy, exercise, quit smoking—and still become a victim of this hideous disease.
That afternoon, I stopped by another friend’s house to drop off a book. She’s in the middle of an unwelcome divorce (I’m sure all divorce is unwelcome, but in her case, I mean she was completely blind-sided). I can imagine God dealing out pieces of people’s fates, like playing cards, and her flipping over the one that read, “Divorce.” Crap, I can see her cringing, I don’t want that card! Let me put it back. I’d rather have “Lose Job” or “Mother-in-law Problems,” instead.
Later, I had coffee with yet another dear friend, who has major issues with her father. I’ve never met him, but from her description, he’s controlling, manipulative, and bossy. He wants everyone to do things his way or not at all. She wants to keep him in her life so her children can know their grandfather, but the whole situation is very draining on her. So the card that God dealt her was “Drama.”
I guess my role yesterday was that of Listener. I tried to be a good listener and a good friend to my pals that needed to vent their sadness, their frustration, their anger. I know many times I am the one complaining, and they are the ones listening. Our roles are fluid, back and forth, listener/ talker/ helper/ friend.
As I was driving home, I started thinking about these bad cards we get dealt, these cards that start with the letter “D.” I don’t much care for this letter and all its corrupt family members: Danger, Demons, Dishonest, Dull, Disaster, Deranged, Drugs, Disappointment, Dogmatic, Dismal, Damage, Dissatisfaction, Dump, Dark, Disreputable, Drudgery, Derogatory, Distant, Dizzy, Disdain, Discrimination, Dumb, Defensive, Disgust, Doom, Disorderly, Dismissive, Drunk.
When I was a flight attendant, I shuddered to hear the relatively mild “D” word: “Delayed.” Once in a while, I’d hear the word “Divert,” as in, “The snow in Denver is so bad, we have to divert our plane, and land in Wichita instead.” Damn.
Now my mind was spinning, thinking about these “D” words. I walked in my front door, set my keys on the table, and hung up my coat. That’s when I saw it: The Husband playing a card game on the floor with the boys. Oh, yeah, I thought, there is a good “D” word after all: Dad.