Sunday, November 23, 2008
In Michigan, these days, doom is inescapable. Pick your cliche: Rolling fog, tidal wave, ship careening toward the rocks, plague or pox, despair has become an entity, an awakened Golem on the march to wipe away life as we've known it.
The Big Three is dying. Deputies taped foreclosure notices to the house two doors down. The value of our home has crashed. Friends have lost their jobs. I haven't opened a 401k statement in months.
We do well if we only worry about the economy and discuss our fears -- and options, such as they are -- once a day. We rarely succeed. I tell myself it's an abstraction, numbers on a page, nothing more than worry.
And sometimes, like yesterday, I'm reminded that's all it is.
A little boy we never met named Nicholas died. He was 4. He has CdLS. His parents thought he had a cold. They put him to bed. He didn't wake up. Mo found out through a Yahoo discussion group about the syndrome.
She was crying when I got home.
"I don't care if our house is worth nothing," she said. "I don't care if we lose our jobs. I just don't ever want to lose Hope."
The night Will died, we held him and made certain promises. Chief among them: We would never forget what's really important. We've tried. We haven't always done as well as we could. Sometimes we need a reminder.
So thank you, Nicholas. Rest in peace. Our deepest sympathies.