There’s something I think about from time to time and is always in my consciousness: Why am I always so lucky? Not just me, my whole family. We didn’t lose anyone in World War II and we’re Jewish. We didn’t lose anyone in Korea or Vietnam, either. We haven’t been hurt by earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, or any other natural disaster. No one in our family has been born with a significant birth defect or health issue. There have been major illnesses and injuries – mostly me – but except for my father, nothing life-altering. We got better, we healed and got on with our lives.
Yes, my father died when he was only 52, and yes, that is a tragedy. But nobody gets to the age of 40 without going through some kind of tragedy, and I was 22 when he died. Not fully grown – although I thought I was – but certainly not a child. My youngest brother was 10 at the time, so there was a much greater impact on him. But still, we are astoundingly lucky. I am astoundingly lucky.
And I keep wondering why? What have I done to deserve it? What have I done to have deserved parents who loved and and cared for me and raised me to be what I believe to be a truly good person? And even if I do deserve some of it, so do a lot of other people who have nothing.
I have to admit, there is a little bit of a fear that my luck has to run out at some point. But really, it’s more Why me? Why do I get to live this life? And why don’t others?
When I was about eight years old, one morning while I was brushing my teeth and joking with my sister, the strangest thought occurred to me: Why was I born me? Why wasn’t I born a dog or something else, or some other person? Why am I me? I have never found an answer.