Last night, an 18-month old child underwent surgery to remove a neuroblastoma tumor. The procedure was, by all accounts a great success, though his road to recovery remains long and uncertain. Though I'd never met the boy prior to his illness, I've known his father for years. He -- the boy, not the father -- is part of the reason why we left.
In mid-2014, a 25-year-old who was of the most filled with life of anyone I knew was killed as he was exploring the world. Following closely was the news that a well-respected local entrepreneur succumbed to the very disease he was fighting with technology, not just for him but for all who suffered the same affliction. Around the same time, we learned of one of our peers would be dead within a week of a monstrously aggressive form of cancer. These three men, too, are part of the reason why we left.
One of my brothers-in-law went through a surgery typically performed on men three decades his senior. One of my sisters was embroiled in a nasty custody battle for one of my nieces. A nephew was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. Sheila's grandmother, the youngest of our remaining set, fell ill and passed horribly and suddenly. Our parents each faced their own medical issues, most with uncertain outcomes. This, again, is part of the reason why we left.
And an entire litany of Very Bad Things happened in 2014 that I didn't list, all of which contributed to our decision to leave. Because Very Bad Things will not stop happening. There is no perfect time of calmness. No point at which Lady Luck favors all the people I care about. Any perceived break in the cycle of bad news is perception alone. Waiting until tomorrow, we realized, would not be better. Holding off for another year offered no promises of a more opportune time.
When we're asked "what influenced your decision to sell all your stuff and leave?" we rarely mention the VBTs of 2014. Because no one wants to hear about the Very Bad Things. Or maybe we're afraid we'll be seen as running away from problems. Honestly, that's a fair assessment. But it's more accurate to say we're preparing for even bigger problems we've yet to face by shielding ourselves from future regrets for roads not traveled.
Time isn't on our side. Fate doesn't favor us or anyone. So if not now... when?