Life can deal cruelty

Mitt Romney once told an audience near the end of the 2012 presidential campaign that there is much more to life than politics.

The Republican presidential nominee could not have spoken truer words.

This week I received some devastating news. It reminds me that all the handwringing I’ve been doing about Donald Trump’s effort to win re-election seeks to deal in relative pettiness.

The news was this: A dear friend I have known longer than any other human being sent me a message to tell me that a fire had destroyed his mother’s house. Worse than that, his brother lost his life in the inferno.

Yes, I knew my dear friend’s brother. I considered him a friend as well.

My friend’s mother is recovering from burns she suffered in the blaze. Her heart won’t ever recover fully from the horrific loss she has suffered. Nor will my friend’s heart ever be healed completely. Nor will those of his sisters or their children, or his son or his granddaughter.

Events such as this yank my attention away from the petty political chicanery that has enveloped the nation. This tragedy has focused my attention on real life, on the cruelty that fate can deliver. It hammers humanity when we are looking the other way.

It reminds me of the pain that life occasionally brings to those who never deserve to feel it.

I have been watching the political maneuvering, as I always do. My attention is being pulled away to matters that affect me far more deeply than who should win the next presidential election.

I’ve been reminded that there is far more to life than politics.

I cherish my life, but sometimes life really sucks.

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