Life should be so easy. Be nice and collect your rewards. If only….

I’m brooding about lots of things.

Like, the nightmare in Florida where a gun toting lunatic killed 17 really nice people.  For nothing.  For no good reason except that he could.  It’s clear to me that guns are a big enemy in the United States and that our impotent leaders either cannot do anything to stop the scourge or will not because they’re collecting money from the NRA.

But what about the supposedly normal people who cite the Second Amendment as their justification for not supporting gun control.  I’m betting that most of those folks ignore other laws of living.  I’m betting that their faith in the wisdom of the Second Amendment doesn’t extend to their observing speed limits.  Or  practicing  the tenets of their religion. I mean, does belief in the Second Amendment mean, if you’re one of our tribe, you faithfully observe Shabbat?  That you’re strictly kosher? Nope. The Second Amendment is law.  Everything else must be just a suggestion. Stupid is as stupid is.  i see no reason for not repealing an amendment which takes thousands of American lives every year.  Innocent lives for sure.  Take your Second Amendment and shove it!

But on a smaller scale I was challenged yesterday to understand why someone I know is suffering so greatly, painfully, and without any cause. He’s not being brought down by a gun.  He’s being brought down by life. Without justification.

This person is my optometrist.  A really sweet, middle aged Jewish guy whom we’ve come to know over the years.  We see him usually once a year, around now, and we chit chat over the eye exams.  We like him.  A lot.

A few years ago he earned forever loyalty from us.  Our grandson was on his way to our home for Thanksgiving.  On the Number One train, coming from the Upper West Side, another passenger came over to him, with no cause, and punched him in the eye.  Just like that.

By the time he arrived at our house his eye was looking pretty nasty and we just didn’t know what to do.  A trip to the ER would mean the end of Thanksgiving dinner and a disruption of our family day.  Not the end of the world for sure but couldn’t there be a better way?

Then I thought about our optometrist.  Chances were he could examine the boy’s eye better than any generalist in the ER.

Naturally his office was closed but I called his emergency number. Guess what this mensch did!  He opened the office and checked the eye.  It was fine!  We never forgot this act of kindness.  He didn’t have to do it.

But now, our friendly eye doctor is in a terrible place.  He is a single parent and the mother of his two boys is dead.  One of his boys, a high school senior, has been dreadfully sick for about two years with a disease of unknown origin that is still undiagnosed.  The boy has been taken to the finest doctors in the United States to no avail.  He has been poked and prodded and medicated, to no avail.  He cannot go to school. The child is in unrelenting pain and suffering mightily.  His father has been obsessed with getting the child proper care and a firm diagnosis. He is the responsible adult in this boy’s life.

Is that enough misery?

Apparently not. Yesterday when my husband went to pick up his new glasses he asked our friendly optometrist how he’s doing. Not well. At all. He needs to be treated for the next six months for a recurrence of leukemia. The prognosis is unknown.

What will happen to his son?

No answers from me.

So sometimes life puts me into a funk. I see and hear about things that I wish weren’t. Why so much trouble for this one sweet and kind man? Why so much suffering in Parkland, Florida?

It’s all just dumb luck isn’t it? I think of my father who died at almost 98 with never a tragedy to deal with. Good health. Robust good health. He must have felt that this was the reward for being a good guy. Nope. He was just super lucky. He was, indeed, a very good and nice guy, but so were the dead in Parkland and so is my optometrist.

No wonder I’m feeling funky.