You think that certain things will never happen to you, or your family. You see terrible shit all the time in the news, or reenacted in the movies, and you breathe a sigh of relief that it isn’t you, it isn’t your family. How fortunate for you.

And then something shitty happens. A person reveals that they are not who they use to be. Things start to crumble, and break.

This person–these people–once upon a time they were so different. They were so family oriented. They spent their free time with you, at family dinners, at holiday events. They were a little eccentric, but you loved them because they belonged to your bigger group of slightly off-center folks. And that was great.

But now, you don’t even recognize them. It’s as if their hearts turned black. The life has been sucked out of them. They have turned into something awful, self-serving, uncaring, selfish.

You have no idea why, but they turn on the ones who have done the most for them. They demonize them, then become vindictive. You try to make amends, to apologize for nothing in hopes that the hatchet can be buried. But they want nothing of it. They have an agenda.

And then, sickness strikes the most vulnerable. They manipulate, brainwash, exploit. You watch in horror, disbelief. There are no laws to prevent this. There is no one brave enough to take on this evil. You are helpless, hopeless…

It’s a sickening feeling, knowing this cancer has struck your family. The kind of thing you swear never would. And yet…

The universe has a way of sorting this stuff out. It’s called karma. And all that can be said is, you get what you give. Someday, probably soon, these people will be alone with nothing but a big empty house. No amount of money or possessions will make their lives whole. They can take and take, but nothing will fulfill their ugly hearts. Pity, is what you feel.

All of this to say that the gratitude felt for the ones who are true, genuine, and caring; that give love freely and offer their time without expecting anything in return, makes your life richer, fuller. You mourn the loss of the vulnerable, who just didn’t know any better. But at least, in the end, they will be at peace. You know that somewhere, sometime, you will find peace, too.

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