A thought on healthy and not

Tell me how many times you’ve heard/read the following:

“I just want a healthy child.”

“All the kids are healthy, so that’s what matters.”

“i don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, just as long as it’s healthy.”

(Or even the St. Jude’s tagline at Christmas: “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.”)

Of course you’ve heard these. They’re almost cliche, given how often we hear them.

How about we change it to:

“I just want a child who’s alive.

“All the kids are alive, so that’s what matters.”

“I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, just as long as it’s alive.

(and what if you don’t have healthy kids in your life? There are CF families where every kid has CF. No “healthy” kids there.)

This may shock a lot of folks, but health is not the be-all and end-all of life. I’m pretty sure my parents have often felt they’re glad to have a child who is still alive.


I will never be healthy–so, does that mean my parents shouldn’t be glad about me? Since I’m never healthy, “what matters”?

No one gets out of life alive. Everyone dies eventually. Eventually, the body gives out, and guess what? That’s a preordained outcome!

Some of us are healthy our whole lives. I will never be one of them. That’s OK. But it does get grating to hear people read and talk about “health” is all they want.

That’s a fairly tall order, ladies and gents.

Divine Mercy on the sideboard (with tea :) )

How about, “life is all you want.”

Hmmm? That might work a little better.

I don’t want to be “healthy.” I want to be alive.

So let’s be glad for the people that are with us, in any state that may be, and let’s celebrate that. Let’s cherish that. The moments when we are all together, and all alive together. Who cares if someone in the room has cancer or seizures or CF or someone else’s liver? At the moment, we are all here. We are all doing whatever it is we do, and that makes the moment even more precious, because of the fact that life is so incredibly tenuously fragile.

Every single moment is fragile and wonderful and full of….everything, really. Virginia Woolf wrote about that in Mrs. Dalloway, and it’s true.

So stop thinking/saying that all you want is “health” for whoever. How about–all you want is life.

That’s still a pretty awesome gift.




3 thoughts on “A thought on healthy and not

  1. I absolutely LOVE this post. Many years ago, before anything was known about CF, our family lost an adopted baby to CF. So much progress has been made, but not enough yet.

    I have a new granddaughter with many congenital anomalies, she’s being treated at the Peña Colorectal Center in Cincinnati. I found you through your review of Nationwide on Yelp, the world is very inter-connected now. Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. Pingback: Seven Quick Takes No. 53 | Living Adventurously

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