Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Survivor’s Guilt

with 6 comments

Every time incredibly tragic situations are reported in the news for days on end I begin to question my luck. How is it that I was born into the comfort I enjoyed throughout my lifetime? Lately, it has been the crumbled concrete buildings in Turkey and Syria that are causing me to wonder about how my life experience compares to a baby found alive in the rubble, still attached to its dead mother by the umbilical cord.

How many challenges lie ahead for that child and the rest of the survivors in the damaged areas?

Secure in our warm house with a solid roof and sturdy walls, I tucked myself beneath comforting blankets in a wonderful bed and slept safely last night. How do I deserve such luxury?

Even while a large number of people were attacking my nation’s capital in an attempt to overthrow our democracy in 2021, I was safe at home experiencing no physical threat. I felt a lot of shame and embarrassment, but otherwise, the impact on me at home was imperceptible.

People around the world live in situations of war, droughts, famine, overcrowding, poverty, or crime that impact their daily existence. Why have I been able to live free of these challenges? Obviously, there is no guarantee that I won’t suffer this kind of fate in the future, but at my age, I will still feel lucky that I had so many good years if things all of a sudden turn bad now.

There but for the grace of God, go I.

I gained a new insight yesterday about how the hay boxes get pulled away from the back wall of the overhang. Don’t know why I never considered this before. I had set out the feed pans for the horses and while they were eating, I was scoopin’ poop and filling up my wheelbarrow. I didn’t see what provoked it but I looked up just as Light was lunging toward Swings.

In her moment of panicked reaction, Swings’ emergency evacuation from the vicinity cause her to knock the hay box almost 90°. The repositioned box had nothing to do with frivolity or overzealous efforts to consume hay. It was simply collateral damage from a dramatic escape.

I verbally shared my unhappiness about the incident with Light but she showed little interest in my opinion about the issue, whatever it was.

Ending on a positive note, I’m pleased to report that Cyndie has recovered enough to drive a car on her own again. It’s been 3-and-a-half months since she drove a vehicle. That’s a very large step in regaining her independence.

I can say that my survival of being her full-time chauffeur during that period has been entirely guilt-free.

However, there have been moments of wondering how I’ve been so lucky as to not be the one who broke an ankle last November.



Written by johnwhays

February 10, 2023 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. I enjoy your Horse stories. They definitely have personality.


    February 10, 2023 at 11:45 am

  2. We might say God is love but not consider what that really means… it is enacted by those around us, past and present – just as you’d extend care to the child found in the rubble. Our luck doesn’t come from no where…. it is in our hands… I have seen what a difference you can make:-)

    Ian Rowcliffe

    February 10, 2023 at 9:01 am

    • Thank you, Ian. Love is the common theme I cling to in all things.


      February 10, 2023 at 6:58 pm

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