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Monday, November 24, 2008

The Web of Life

To be honest, notwithstanding Curlin’s retirement and stud announcement, the breakdown of Shakis, and even the varied passionate responses to Jeremy Plonk’s controversy idea of reducing racing dates, my mind hasn’t been on horse racing much this past week.

It began last Tuesday night when I found out a student at my university won $1 million from a $20 scratch-off lottery ticket. Wow, what an amazing position for a 19-year-old young man to find himself in! Even minus the proverbial tithe to all-mighty (and these days, needy) Uncle Sam, that’s a whole lot of beer money.

Yet, not even 12 hours after absorbing this fact, word came that a former student—now an FBI agent—lost his life serving a warrant in connection with a drug deal sting, leaving a wife and 3-year-old son.

Ying and yang. The dichotomy of human existence that defies logic. Joyous good fortune with all its glorious possibilities, paralleled with tragic, senseless loss of a young worthy life. Unfortunately, I’m no stranger to this concept, though that is something that I would rather remain in the past, but sometimes the cosmos conspires against you.

The third "whammy" was the discovery this weekend of the body of the father of my mother’s best friend, in his burnt-out home. Another tragic accident it was initially thought. Only the autopsy revealed that he had been shot—a sweet, still hard-working 81-year-old man, reliant on crutches to get around, murdered in his bed and his modest home set on fire to cover up the deed.

At times, the universe simply takes your breath away.