As caregiver for my frail mother-in-law, I am always learning something. The other day she let me know it’s time for her flu shot. Today I gently pushed the wheelchair of bones into the nurse’s office. The young RN’s eyes bugged out as this old woman removed three layers of clothing to reveal an upper arm that is five inches around. She administered the vaccine (the needle came out on the arm’s underside, jk).
Over the last few days, I’ve pondered the lengths this old lady goes to, in order to prolong her life. All the while, however, from my vantage point, her life seems quite …I’m going to say it: pathetic.
If there’s one lesson in this, it’s that none of us has a right to “measure” somebody else’s quality of life. But people attempt to do just that. They make computer charts of factors such as occupation, physical fitness, mental health, education, recreation, environment, income, politics, and social belonging.
I could make a chart of the lady’s days—when she’s happy, sad, or ill—and calculate an average. What good would that do, except to declare her rare, medium, or well-done? And according to whose cookbook?
We’re talking about happiness, here. As for me, I can barely “measure” my own; how dare I think I can assess somebody else’s general well-being?
What’s good for the goose, is not necessarily good for the gander. Come see, come saw. More or less. You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to.
Years ago, I signed a contract based on someone’s life expectancy. None of us have that. It could end before you finish this paragraph [Heb. 9:27 it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment].
So I say, “Three Cheers for the Little Lady and her flu shot.” Hip-hip, Horray! Hip-hip, Horray! Hip-hip, Horray! You go, Girl! (Even if it’s just shuffling ten steps per minute.)