That is how the beginning of my conversations go with my father when things are not going as well as we would like.
To say that this past week was hellacious would be a gross understatement. From terrifying marital problems to my grandmother getting a potentially bad outcome on her quarterly cancer checkups, it seems that we are destined to feel misery and the weight of our worlds crushing our shoulders.
Through all of these obstacles I have tried to maintain a positive attitude, lest I damage my marriage further with my negative outlook on life.
I think, in times of woe, that it can be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the suffering of others. As morbid as it sounds, there is a certain gratification in knowing that, yes, it can get worse... it can get much worse.
In a moment of clarity, I stopped at the library to check out Night by Elie Wiesel. I knew full well that I was about to embark on a nightmarish journey where babies are ripped from their mother's arms and thrown into crematoriums while they are still alive. I knew that, in my mind's eye, I would witness the death of Elie's father, as he was beaten relentlessly, all the while pleading for his son. I cried as a starving old man's son beat him to death for a small chunk of stale bread, only to find out soon after that the old man had intended to feed the bread to his son anyway. A sad twist of irony.
And to think that more than one of these six million men, women and children, were my blood. My very own great aunts, uncles and cousins. So many lost... we'll never know what sort of impact they would have had on our lives. What a waste of potential.
One line from that book rings in my ears more than any other. As a Kapo at Auschwitz was preparing a gallow to hang a small child, one of the concentration camp prisoners said "For God's sake, where is God?"
It's something to contemplate.
I have 10 pages left of Night, and I am terrified to finish it. My heart is broken from reading this book.
And so, while looking at the problems I've encountered this past week, it is safe to say that things could get worse. I could lose my family, my belongings, my dignity, my life... my name and my spirit.
In retrospect, you could say that I'm lucky.
How am I doing? I'm breathing.