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Friday, July 6, 2012

You have a very good life, you just don't always realize that

"The good old days weren't always good and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems"
-Billy Joel

Most of us like to think Billy Joel has had a great life, and he has. He is a mega rock star and has had great success. Married the girl of his dreams in Christie Brinkley and has had a family and traveled the world doing the thing he loves to do. But,  most don't know that he almost never got to that point. He has always battled severe depression, and in 1970 actually tried to commit suicide, for which the above song is written for others to try to help them avoid the place he got to that almost ended it all before it started.

Back in 1987 my mother had fallen on some hard times. Money was tight, she had just separated from my father and generally things were not going well. My mother was always the type to worry about anything and everything and make more out of things than were actually there. This only made it worse.
One day we were sitting at the dinner table,  just me and her discussing life. She was mentioning all that was wrong in her life and how sad she was about that. Me, being the positive upbeat person that I always was, I mentioned things weren't that bad. We still had lots of money and lots of support if we needed more.
About a month later, we were sitting at the dinner table again and she got a phone call. It seems my cousin, who was 18 at the time was in a very bad car accident on the highway about 3 hours away. There were four boys in that car, and two of them died when the car flipped over and landed on the side of the road.  It was a very icy winter night. Luckily, my cousin was okay and only had minor injuries. I knew one of the boys who died. He was a very good friend of my cousin and I had met him many times at various functions.
As we sat at that table, I think it finally clicked into my mothers head. She had her health, her kids were healthy and doing well in life and her now soon to be ex husband could not cause her the grief anymore that he always had. Oh, and she didn't have a son who just died in a horrific car accident.
She had a very fortunate and good life at that point.
I still remember the words she said to me that night.
"I guess you were right, my life is pretty good. I could be that woman who has to bury her teenage son tomorrow."
No matter how bad you think you have it, you have a very good life. It takes the suffering of others to sometimes realize that.
Don't focus on what is going wrong, or what could go wrong. In fact, try not to think about it at all. But if you must, think about all the great things you have, not the things you don't or things you might lose. 

 "The good times and the bad you seen and all the others in between you remember the times of your life"

 -Paul Anka

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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact