It's one painful whammy to lose your dad to a horrible and paralyzing accident; it's yet another painful whammy to lose your mom from a disease that usually claims those who have a vice such as smoking, coming completely out of the blue. To lose both of them both in little more than a year must be a living hell.
When I heard about the death of actress, philanthropist and devoted wife and mother, Diane Reeve (the wife of actor Christopher Reeve, who died in 2004 from a long bout of paralysis after a riding accident) today due to lung cancer, I was so saddened by the Reeve family double whammy. My sincere condolences go out to their children, especially young Will Reeve, who's lost both of his parents at such a young age.
In fact, my sincere sympathy goes out for all kids who have to go through this, losing their parents either through disease, accident or war.
I saw Christopher Reeve speak at New York's Winter Garden in Battery Park back in 2000 or so. I was a caterwaiter at a fundraising event for his foundation. It was difficult to see Mr. Reeve paralyzed as he was. I remember how sad the other waiters and I were. It was difficult to watch him breath slowly, speak, and then breathe again, by the help of a ventilator. I felt, however, that I was truly fortunate to witness a man with such stamina and integrity. In fact, it was one of the small moments in my life that helped me break free of depression. Reeve, despite his evident problems, seemed generally happy.
May we all be so lucky in the face of it.
On another note of passing, Gordon Parks, an icon of the African-American community for more than 70 years, died today as well.
When it rains, it pours.