I deal with a lot of death, dying and suffering at my job. Practically every day I have to tell people and their family members that they have an incurable disease, one that we cannot do much for except to relieve symptoms as the end draws near. Even for those who are not dying, the people I see are often sick, confused, and in pain.
This is one of the reasons I love coming home to the kids. At their ages, they are still blank, fresh, full of life, with futures yet unwritten. There is a book called “The Dead Zone,” by Stephen King (yes, also a movie and TV series), in which the lead character, Johnny, is afflicted with the ability to touch people and see into their future. This becomes a burden as most of his premonitions are about pain and people’s deaths. At one point, he holds a baby, apprehensive of what he will feel. A relief washes over him as all he feels is the swirling of the undetermined.
On my more difficult days, I always think of this when I pick up the little ones and hold them close. After spending so much time with people who are near the end of their life, it is a comfort to come home to people who are just starting out.
And faces like this always make me smile: