Compassion In A Cruel World

This could also be titled “Reasons I Love My Husband.”

He amazes me sometimes. A lot, actually. He keeps me grounded. He sets a great example of how people should behave. He’s funny. He’s inappropriate a LOT. He’s a bit of a hick. But at the very center of him is this heart like nobody I’ve ever met.

A few examples:

We have a friend, Larry, who is wheelchair bound. Polio as a kid. Pretty horrible eating habits over the years have taken a toll on his body to a point where he can’t perform basic hygiene. He gets around pretty good in his electric wheelchair and can do pretty much anything. He helps Mark out with repairs; odd jobs that Mark gives him so he can earn some cash because disability doesn’t cover much these days. When I go over there with him I’m usually so overcome by the stench of the place that it’s all I can do to be in the general vicinity, but Mark goes anyway. Taking time to make sure that Larry has what he needs. Picking up groceries from Sam’s and then helping Larry get them put away once he’s delivered them to his house. Not big acts. Nothing earth shattering  in the grand scheme of things. But I fall in love with him a little more every time he goes to help his friend.

At our place off the grid lives a guy everyone calls Happy Jack. He’s got a terminal illness where his body is collapsing around his internal organs, slowing snuffing the life out of him. He lives in similar surroundings as Larry. Pretty gross. Smelly. I have a hard time being over to his house. His fridge went out Friday and Mark was already up at our lot. But he drove all the way back into town to pick up a refrigerator for him, then helped clean out the old (disgusting) broken fridge so he could swap it out. The guys that Mark hangs out with up there off the grid are all pretty rough, but that group of guys took a weekend out of their own “play time” and built a deck with a wheelchair ramp for Happy Jack so that he could more easily get in and out of his cabin. I watch the kindness and care shown to Happy Jack and it renews my faith in humanity to a degree.

20130811_120548This past weekend Mark and I had a long talk about my brother. He asked me if I was still intent on not writing to him and cutting off contact. I said that I was. He asked, “Forever?” I couldn’t really answer that because I don’t know. He said that he knows having religion crammed down my throat is at such an absurd level right now but reminded me that I have perspective in my life. My brother doesn’t. He said that religion is the only thing he has to hold onto because if there isn’t a god willing to forgive horrible sins then he is completely fucked, so he’s clinging to it with desperation and doesn’t have the perspective to allow himself to believe anything else. The compassion that Mark has, when I feel like my level of compassion has plummeted, lifts me up. He helps me feel not so crazy. And he helps me feel not so sad. He helps me feel like everything is going to be alright no matter what.

I think I’ll keep him.

2 thoughts on “Compassion In A Cruel World

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