Friday, November 18, 2005

A Lesson from my Friend Carlos

My friend Carlos has passed on. He had long suffered from muscular dystrophy. Recently he had some breathing problems and had to be hospitalized. He developed a pneumonia and three days ago, early in the morning, he stopped breathing.

As is natural, some of us who knew Carlos all our lives were talking about him. Some of the outrageous (at least in his mom's eyes) things he would do as a kid, only made us laugh a little. But we also spoke of the manner in which Carlos dealt with his muscular dystrophy. He never gave in to his illness, but did everything humanly possible to continue living as normal a life as possible despite his condition. Others may have become extremely depressed, but Carlos, in his own way, faced up to the harsh reality and did not want anyone to feel sorry for him, nor did he feel sorry for himself.

A funny thing happened to me today. My cell phone rang, and it was a call from Carlos! At least that is what the caller ID indicated. Actually it was his older brother, who is my age and also a lawyer, who was calling me from Carlos' house to let me know the time of the funeral this morning.

Carlos never seemed to have asked "why me?" Instead, he accepted it and set out to live with and around his illness. In so doing, Carlos not only made life easier for himself, but for all of us around him as well. And, even more important, he taught us all how to deal with adversity.

Carlos, I will try to recall your lesson often. Until we meet again, a big hug.