July 13, 2010


On PBS tonight there was a story about a Guatemalan woman who had cancer. Her son had traveled to the US to earn money for her treatment working at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. But on his first shift at the meat packing plant, he was caught in a federal immigration raid, sent to prison for several months, then deported. He borrowed money to make the trip to America, so in addition to being back where he started without earning anything, he was in the hole to the tune of $7000. He could only make about $7 a day in Guatemala to feed his four children, wife and mother and make interest payments on the loan. Meanwhile this huge lump on her shoulder continued to grow. There was no money left for any kind of testing or treatment, and the son was resigned to just being there for his mother when the end came.

So I was watching this and realizing that we have it pretty good. Americans in general have it pretty good. There are far worse places on this planet, and why that is tolerated I don't know. But what I do know is that Jenny and I are fortunate - she has cancer and that sucks, but...

...we live in a place where the best care in the world is readily available.
...we have the means and the insurance to pay for this care.
...we have a truly awesome family and network of friends.
...we have each other.
...we have Olive to make us smile.
...and a million other reasons why we have it good.

I only wish that everyone could enjoy what we are fortunate to have.

The Guatemala story is here.

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