Yesterday Dee wrote about friends and gratitude in a lovely post. It happened to be a day when I was feeling particularly grateful and vulnerable and pondering the fragility of life.
My friend of more than 50 years is very ill. We were little girls, in the fourth grade when we met. Friends come and go through life, but some friends stay and she is one—a dear and funny and generous friend. Out of nowhere, quite literally, a deadly virus, then a complication almost more evil than the virus. She is a survivor and the greatest danger is past, but what she has endured is unthinkable and it goes on.
I once heard a scientist talking about viruses and he said his theory was that human life exists on earth to serve as hosts for viruses. That viruses are at the top of the food chain, as it were—the ultimate life form. Having lost friends to the AIDS virus, I have seen the power of an invisible enemy. My friend has been fighting a different virus, but it has been a battle for sure.
Again I am grateful for modern medicine. I am grateful to be able to have time with my friend. I am grateful for sunshine and the beautiful spring flowers in my garden. And mixed into that feeling of gratitude is the recognition of how little control we really have and how fragile we are.