We have been watching a series of shows on PBS recently about Jews in America. To be honest, it wouldn't have been my choice for television viewing, but television has been markedly thin in quality broadcasting. I did learn some new things though. One was that the KKK hadn't been around as long as I thought and that they started out as the "Knights of Mary Phagin". Also learned that "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" was written by a jewish guy, which surprised me. I had always heard that it was written by Gene Autry. Also found out that Henry Ford was an extreme anti-Semite, to the point that he went to Germany and received a citation and medal from Adolf Hitler himself. Then I learned something that kind of blew my socks off. There was a survey after the war and it asked if people felt that in any way did the jews do something to partly deserve what happened during the war. My memory is sketchy on this bit, but seems that the survey response was that 48% of the people responding felt there was partial justification. Wait there's more!! Then the survey asked if the jews had done anything to totally deserve what happened in the war and the affirmative response was 11%!!
I was shocked. How can anybody deserve genocide?... partially or totally deserve genocide?!! This got my mind to reeling about just what "deserves" means. There are times when I think I deserve a peanut buster parfait. My over all appearance would contradict that, so how does anybody "deserve" their lot in life? How exactly do you earn what you get? How do corporate CEOs get multimillion dollar bonus packages for running their business into bankruptcy? Do they DESERVE ten, twenty, forty million? Not in my book. Do thousands of people standing outside a hospital in New Orleans waiting for an evacuation from a hurricane DESERVE to just be told, "Sorry the buses aren't coming"? How does somebody deserve this?! Why?
There is a person in Mac's family who has told me that I deserve everything that has happened to me... that I brought it upon myself.... like my actions gave my husband cancer.
We had always lived a very small life, within our budget... very careful. Then Mac got leukemia. I decided to shoot the moon. If he was to die then by God, he was going to go feeling like he HAD something, that he DID something! If he were to die I would be willing to just lose everything afterwards. I would just pick up what pieces I could and go on. It was my gamble. It was OUR need to chase a dream. It was life or death and we were choosing life!
Mac is still healing and getting stronger, so it is the two of us dealing with the financial difficulties, the medical difficulties, but I am still angry about someone hovering on the fringe declaring whether or not we have the right, whether we DESERVE the right to chase our hopes and dreams. What kind of justice is that?! What kind of reward is that for trying to live a good, cautious life?
Well, that person from Mac's family doesn't play a part in our lives anymore, and whether we deserve it or not, we're going to continue doing our damndest to chase that dream down. We're going to live a long and fruitful and happy life here on the little farm. I may not deserve a peanut buster parfait, but I think I deserve this.