Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Simpler days

BR's brother just sent him a tweet...
johnmckellar: @dedesbigboy Amen!!!!! I sometimes long for those simpler days where people were born, lived, and died in same small town.
It got me to wondering ... has globalization done a disservice to the disabled? By encouraging families to become so scattered during good times, does the global economy leave people out on a limb in bad times?

When BR was diagnosed with MS, we were living in San Francisco. That's roughly 2000 miles from his family near Shreveport, Louisiana ...

... and my family near Chicago, Illinois ...

The best families act as life's safety nets. Better than any government health care plan. Better than Meals-on-Wheels and Goodwill and Red Cross Shelters. By encouraging family members to seek their fortune in far off lands, it would appear that we are sacrificing our family safety nets on the gamble that nothing bad will happen while we are away.

But something bad always happens, doesn't it? After all, nobody gets out of this world alive. Be it our parents, our siblings, our partners, or our children, or even the community of friends we've built around us, we are all called upon to give and receive "family" assistance sooner or later.

It's the people who don't have any family that I worry about the most. They are the ones who necessarily end up in the government safety net. They are isolated. Too proud or too sick to ask for meaningful, lasting community assistance. I pray that whatever health care reform comes out of this congress, its primary focus is on the safety and comfort of those who need it most.

As for the rest of us, I pray that we continue to reach out to one another as a community. Give of our resources and talents to support our families. And make a continuing effort to grow those families.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful message!!I hope you know I have "family" next door that requires attention daily.I would love to see both of you every day if I had a magic carpet. Much love and support,Dede

Emarieg said...

I've often had these same thoughts. I have been fortunate enough to be able to respond and visit family that live halfway across the country when the time comes. Always I wonder about families that cannot afford to do this or don't have the time due to work requirements. I treasure the time I was able to spend with my elderly aunt and my brother and I feel so sad for people who don't have the same opportunity.

Herrad said...

Hi Steve,
Lovely post.
Big hug.

steve said...

Dede - You take great care of Nanny, and you know it!

Elizabeth - Your family lives on in the memories you keep alive. And as for burgers -- fresh meat, loosely packed, flash seared on both sides in a little butter, olive oil, and Worcestershire, reduce heat and slowly fry to desired temperature. Dip top of bun in juices and toast in oven. Mmmmm. Hamburgers.

Herrad - always lovely to see you.