Friday, August 21, 2009

A little thing on empathy and sympathy

Pads was fairly good last night before going to sleep and he's had an uninterrupted night, as far as I know (i.e. no sickness, no alarms going off at 3am, etc., etc.), which followed a nice quiet pyjama-clad day in Auntie Ruth's (although he is too worried about the hot-tub to try it).
In anticipating a potential trip tomorrow, we have to juggle the tension that we stronly desire to meet up with family on one hand, but on the other, that on a very good day, he's hardly able to walk 30 yards and can, at any moment, nose-dive into feeling sick and/or being gravely in need of lying down for the rest of the day. There are not many people who can appreciate what that's like, and, while we have an abundant share of joy in the mix, it is a thoroughly limiting and contingent existence. I dont say that to make you feel guilty or to induce pity, it's just my reflection on the gap between the words sympathy and empathy: anyone can do the former, the latter is a much tighter circle. I don't think I understood that before all this, and, unless you are in a position to empathise (not something I'd wish on an enemy), we can't expect you to either. But we remain very grateful for your prayerful concern, which is a wonderful support.

In other news, yesterday, Ally took the smalls to Oakwood and had a wonderful time, as can be seen from these shots:

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