Fresh Baked

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Mary Anne with fellow redhead Maureen O'Hara



For the past few weeks/months/whatever, I have been paying special attention to the word 'just'. I remember in college one of my professors having a big problem with it, as she didn't think we were using it properly since she only accepted it as being an adjective and not an adverb. Since I've started writing more I've constantly heard her voice in my head crying, "Just doesn't mean that-- look it up!!" And when I did, just meant fair.

On that note, I have also been thinking about how much I hate it when people say that something "isn't fair." Fair enough, I have used this phrase more than I care to recall, but, as I was 12 at the time and highly pubescent, I will mostly forgive myself. The type of "isn't fair" that I seem to take special offense to lately is of the petulant, whiney variety that comes when talking about why the well-to-do are living in mansions or why somebody else always gets the freshest melons at the grocery store. Its ridiculous and small-minded and, on top of that, aren't there a million words in the English language? It shouldn't be that difficult to pick another more apt.

Well, last week I found myself an offender of my own two gripes. See, my cousin died on Monday. You don't know it, but in my post index there is a draft of one, written only hours before she died, asking you all to keep her in your thoughts and, if you're inclined, your prayers. Since she had cancer and since it was aggressively attacking her, her death was not a surprise-- only the quickness of how it took her. For the days following, I told myself that while all things happen for a reason, I didn't have to like it. I realized that she was in a better place and that she wasn't in pain anymore and, as she said in her final words, she was "at peace."

In situations like this, I find that there are a lot of questions asked-- primarily, why? Why would God choose her to take from us when she was so young? Why her? Why now? Why at all? I kept thinking about her kids and her husband and all the friends and family she left behind. But it wasn't until they loaded her casket into the hearse after the funeral that I said to myself "this just isn't fair."