Susan was an amazing woman, a quiet and tough-as-nails lady that ran a massive family farm in Upton for years.
Alongside her husband Claude, she did everything – butchered the animals, took care of the crops, nurtured the children and grandchildren for whom her place was a refuge and a sanctuary, a place those grandchildren still talk about with a gleam in their eyes. When Claude died, she continued to take care of that wonderful place on her own.
Then, roughly 20 years ago, as I was getting to know her equally amazing granddaughter, two little punks from the neighborhood decided to rob her. She had a stroke on the spot, and those two worthless pieces of shit left her there. Several days later, her brain and body had fundamentally changed, and this amazing woman spent the next 20 years of her life in a wheelchair in a nursing home, unable to move one of her arms and one of her legs.
She died last night, and I have no doubt that if it weren’t for those two worthless punks, she would have worked that farm well into her 90s.
The bottom line is this: People need to quit being so fucking mean to one another. We are not animals, goddammit, and we need to quit acting like we are. We might not rob older ladies who are alone in their farmhouses, but we do other things, things that are smaller but add up over time, that turn into that giant pile in the bottom half of the hourglass. Every little cruelty, every little indiscretion, every little act of selfishness … it has to stop.
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” – Kurt Vonnegut, from “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater”