I always hated that question: "Do you want to hear the good news first or the bad news first?" I mean, do you want to dilute the "good" with the "bad", or sweeten the "bad" with the "good"?
Either way, you just don't want the bad news at all. But, I suppose that's what life does to you... forces you to make lemonade out of lemons, or however that saying goes.
Well, today, I heard some bad news which made me so incredibly sad and question how horrible awful things can happen to good people and then I heard a really cute heartwarming anecdote that made me feel all happy and love life again.
Since the bad news involves the personal life of a very close friend back home, I don't want to share too many details... However, it has really made me value my life, my friends, and those who I love, above all. We may work as hard as we can in the hopes of securing that raise, that promotion, that financially stable future, but if we don't enjoy life now, we may not be able to.
The news of an extremely rare but very serious cancer striking a friend of mine, the same age as me, really shocked me. It shows how vulnerable we all are, and how cancer blindly attacks us all... it doesn't judge how good a person's character is. I wish with all of my heart and soul that my friend will be able to recover, and live a long and healthy life with his wife and family.
The heartwarming story that cheered me up came from my friend Bryn. Back in February, I had visited his junior high school on an "open day" and met some of his students. I really got along with two of them in particular, and since then, they have (through Bryn) repeatedly, almost on a daily basis, asked for me to hang out, have ice cream, play, etc. Unfortunately, with my busy work schedule & traveling and the students' insane homework / sports obligations, we still haven't had a chance to meet up.
Today, in their lessons, they were learning prepositions such as "by the door", "on top of my head", "next to...", etc. and then they had to make up their own sentences. So, the two of them made some that went something like this:
S: "Oh, Laurie!"
K: "Laurie? Where is Laurie?"
S: "Laurie is... on my heart!"
This is the same student who (again, through Bryn) insisted on sending me a text message after he had found out about my grandmother's passing: "Laurie's obaasan (grandmother) go to heaven. I'm sad too. Please be happy again soon Laurie."
These are the most adorable 12 (?) year olds I have ever met, and I wish I could take them back to New York with me. It's innocent stories like this that make me smile and believe that there is hope in our future.