As the Americans were waiting to move on, an altercation broke out in their rear-most rank. An American had muttered something which a guard did not like. The guard knew English, and he hauled the American out of tanks, knocked him down.
The American was astonished. He stood up shakily, spitting blood. He'd had two teeth knocked out. He had meant no harm by what he'd said, evidently, had no idea the guard would hear and understand.
"Why me?" he asked the guard.
The guard shoved him back into ranks. "Vy you? Vy anybody?" he said.
The guard asks a good question: "Vy anybody?" It's fairly existential, confronting the chaos of the universe. Why do bad things happen? Why does the guard knock the American down? Why is Billy in a German prisoner of war camp? Why do children get cancer? Of course, Billy doesn't have any of the answers. Neither does Vonnegut. So it goes.
Just got some not-so-good news about my brother. Without going into too much detail. I will simply say that he is much worse than the doctors originally thought. He will be down in Grand Rapids for at least another week. Possibly longer, depending on his care plan. No matter when he is able to come home, he will be very limited, and his life will be drastically shortened.
That's really difficult for me to write. Seeing it on the screen of my laptop makes it much more concrete. Of course, after having already lost two of my siblings in the last three years, I find myself repeating the German guard's questions: "Vy you? Vy anybody?"
A lot of the time, life doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. This is one of those times. Bad things happen, and I, in my very limited human understanding, can't comprehend why. My brother is a complex person. Stubborn as a brick wall. Now, he's facing the consequences of his life choices. And I'm sure he's in his hospital room right now, asking, "Why me?"
I have no easy answers tonight. I want to say that God has a plan. He does. At the moment, however, it seems to me that His plan kind of sucks. I will have to pray for some kind of wisdom about this situation. Some peace and acceptance and grace.
Saint Marty is thankful for his own good health tonight.