If you've ever stood by helplessly and watch a mechanic, repairman or computer consultant work on a pricey beacon of utility within your daily existence -- a car, an appliance or a Quad-Core PC -- you know all too well the possibly sickening feeling you experience when he/she advises you that the object of his/her attention is in need of replacement, not repair.
However, when that consultant is a doctor and is advising you that the object of his/her attention is a human being -- specifically, someone about whom you care a great deal -- it's far worse. Audi keeps producing cars, GE microwaves are plentiful, and if today's PC goes tits up, tomorrow's Newegg shipment brings replacement parts with UPS efficiency.
However, less than a week ago, we were in the dubious, precarious, repugnant position of being on the receiving end of some incredibly distressing news about my grandmother. Without going into specifics, the prognosis we were given -- by a team of phsyician-assistants at Columbia Presbyterian -- was worse than grim and took an indelible toll on us all.
It was only two or three days later that this prognosis was rescinded and we were advised her condition was neither fatal nor permanent. And being that she's 90, anything unusual or different is, usually, not a good thing.
After the initial shock, sadness and disappointment we experienced as a family, both immediate and extended, elapsed and we were left to face the reality of the fact that she's 90 years old and probably won't be celebrating her 150th birthday on this earth -- at least not vertically -- we resigned ourselves to mortality, both hers and each of ours, and proceeded to ensure her situation was addressed expeditiously.
And when the prognosis was soon thereafter rescinded, I suppose the first thing we each experienced, after relief, was a strong interest in the names of the morons who made the ridiculous, irresponsible decision to suggest her time on this Earth was soon drawing to a close.
In hindsight, after enduring that particular experience, one could harbor anger, resentment and sentiments akin to vengeance.
But the truth is, beyond the relief of knowing she's going to be around for quite some time longer -- perhaps long enough to watch Kaia and I exchange vows, etc. -- I can only focus on the relief part and not the anger. I'm not sure if this confirms I'm a happy person, or that my anger management genus is still functioning, or that I'm a wuss. But overall, after the relief and gratitude and that big talk with The Man Upstairs, I think the main emotion I've experienced as of late is acknowledging our time here -- on this planet, I mean -- is too short to be consumed by anger, resentment and anything other than happiness.
I don't see my overwhelmingly pointed sense of sarcasm waning -- if anything, it gets sharper each year as if its been treated to daily whetstone applications -- but at least it's for laughs and not for the jugular...mostly.
So the next time you and/or a loved one happen to be near or visiting Columbia Presbyterian, bring clown outfits and red foam noses for the physician assistants and a big bag of questions. Inasmuch as these people think they know what they're doing, just remember -- they're playing God, but they're not even remotely accurate in their portrayals.