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Why Me, Lord?


Kris Kristofferson famously sang "Why me, lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've known?" That's one way of looking at things.


Others may say, "Why does this happen to me?" as the hapless driver in John Prine's The Accident wonders.


I never ask, "why me?" Why did I get cancer? Why did I have to leave Nashville for the care of my family and in pursuit of treatment? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the things I've gone through in the last few years?


The truth is, I don't believe I did anything, either karmically or in the real world that would warrant a terminal illness being laid on me. I never shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. I don't steal and I don't lie. I don't drink, don't smoke (what do I do?). Still I got cancer.


No, I'm part of the "why NOT me?" crowd. There are two ways of looking at that as well.


For this, my birthday blog, a 65-year-old's moment of clarity (ha!), I both celebrate and condemn the "why not me" of it all.


One "why not me" viewpoint is pretty random, a roll of the dice, bad luck, no luck. Why shouldn't I have cancer? Sometimes I take it a step further. When I think of all the friends and acquaintances lost in the last couple of years, it's still "why not me?" Or rather, why them and not me?


Don't get me wrong... I am REALLY happy to be here, feeling pretty well, doing things, enjoying life. But there is just the slightest bit of survivor's guilt. This year, a fairly momentous birthday to reach, I'm going to try to embrace "why not me" in a different way.


I just had a tremendous amount of work done on my home, courtesy of a state grant - and why not me? I did all the paperwork required, jumped through hoops and forged my way through the red tape.


I'm well over three years into a cancer diagnosis that initially was for 14 months life expectancy - and why not me? I'm following all the treatment plans and trying to take care of myself. I fight for the things I need when I need to and know when a fight isn't called for.


I try to enjoy the days (and weeks and years) presently and to come - and why not me? Everyone deserves a chance to be happy and even if it's not what may have been the vision of my life, it's still a pretty good version of it.


Today is the day I move out of the hotel and back into my house; all my belongings will be returned to me from storage. There might be cake involved. So Happy Birthday to me! Why not?!?

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