Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Moment...

It's out of character for me..I know.

Generally, when strangers ask for a blog post about a topic, I just say no. I don't want my blog to become a platform. 

It's a quiet place, like my home, and I want to keep it that way. But, like my home, Piekno can become a place for discussion, a place to reach out from.

When a woman wrote to me, asking me to take a moment on Piekno to discuss mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, I agreed. I couldn't help myself. When she mentioned mesothelioma, my thoughts went back to a job my husband did a few years ago, gutting a building that - 'Surprise'- had asbestos in the walls. No one had mentioned it, because removing asbestos legally and carefully is expensive, time-consuming, and full of liabilities. Instead, they ignored it, and encouraged the workers to do the same. 

I thought of the legal and benefits issues my father worked on for years after his company bought a company riddled with mesothelioma lawsuits - a company that, perhaps like the managers of the building my husband demolished, thought the risks were over-blown and unrealistic.

But, like so many of the threats we create for ourselves..too often the risks aren't over-stated. Too often they're under-stated, under-appreciated, and we fail to protect ourselves and those who rely on us. Asbestos is not banned in America, and though there are laws that regulate the  removal of asbestos, I know from experience that those laws are not always followed or enforced. It's understandable, really, on some level - safe removal is expensive, and if, like most people, finances are a limiting factor for you, it's tempting to cut costs; especially for a disease that often doesn't appear for years after exposure, making it all to easy to ignore.

So, why did I decide to write about Mesothelioma, when I hardly ever write about anything outside my day-to-day life? I guess because I was reminded of the people behind the disease. 3,000 people are diagnosed each year. These are men like my husband, with tiny daughters who will miss them when they don't come home anymore; they're women who chat with us at cafes when we're out around town; retired grandfathers, looking forward to holding babies and reading 'Goodnight Moon' incessantly. And I'd like to see those people as they are, images of Christ, deserving of our love, and our recognition.  

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