Am I Really That Selfish?by Deanna Verbouwens
Hurricane Irene is set to hit in a day, and as I’m contemplating rescheduling my husband’s 40th surprise party (worrying about reserving a tent, if the DJ can make it, if any of the 52 guests that said yes will show up), I was slapped with a reality stick. I was covered from head-to-toe in gooey slime of sadness, disgust and deplorable behavior - because at this very moment one of my closest friends in my entire life is at the oncologist office waiting to see if her cancer has metastasized or if it’s indeed another cancer - lung cancer.
Can I be this selfish? Self-centered? Horrible? I’m worry about a steak hero and my friend is worrying about cancer. The big fricking C. Again.
I was sad for the rest of the day, sad, sad for my friend. Sad that the chances are 99% certain that she has to go through this again - chemo, another surgery, radiation and she’s not even 40. I was sad for myself too, sad that I may lose one of my dearest friends, and sad that I was acting so selfishly. I never considered myself as selfish; I’m more of a doormat, a stellar friend rather than self-centered, so I was completely thrown off by how insensitive I was being in a time of crisis. Appalled at myself.
I understand that this party is what’s happening in my life right now, but what my friend is going through has really put life into perspective. Here we have this precious gift of life, and sometimes the small insignificant stuff gets in the way of really enjoying it. We worry about the house being cleaned, the laundry getting done, the neighbor’s dog barking too loudly in the morning. Some people are completely driven by material acquisitions and living in a certain zip code, but does it really matter? Nothing really matters in life but your health - because without your health you can’t enjoy your family, friends, or that Bentley Phantom that you just purchased.
I've come to the conclusion that I could care less about what you are wearing, who you are hob-knobbing with, and whether or not you eat at NoBu because if you are sitting in a doctor’s office being pumped with chemo, does it really matter that you are wearing Jimmy Choo’s or shoes from Payless? Yea, didn't think so.
As I started to clean up the gooey slime of sadness and disgust, I answered the question - no, I'm certainly not that selfish but I had a selfish moment, and we all do. I brushed myself off and started to prepare myself for Hurricane Irene, my husband’s party (rain, or Hurricane Irene!) and to be there for my friend to help her fight the fight of her life.