It’s been a tough couple of weeks for our family.
My eleven-year-old son, Ryan, was sick.
Sick as in 103-degree-fever sick.
Sick as in 2 different visits to the pediatrician’s office for same-day appointments.
Sick as in 3 absences from school.
Thankfully, it wasn’t anything more than a bad viral infection.
I am very relieved to say that he is feeling better.
But in the midst of all that, of sitting on the bed together, of reading on the couch together, Ryan asked, “Why me?”
I tried to give him the scientific answer. He must have touched a doorknob, a chair, a stack of papers at school that had a germ on it, and the germ was passed on to him when he touched his face, scratched his nose, wiped his mouth.
He wanted me to ask the pediatrician, and he got the same answer.
But back at home, as I smoothed the hair away from his forehead, he asked me again, “Why me?”
Why Ryan, indeed.
There is no answer for that.
A boy who, just this week, earned a very high report card. A boy who, during parent conferences, a teacher told us, “You know, I wish I had 30 more just like him.”
A boy who has already been described as “having a good heart,” by a coordinator at his middle school. An adult who has only known Ryan since August, but has already observed his good, kind ways.
It’s a dangerous question. Because there is no answer.
In the beginning, I used to ask the same question about my autoimmune disease. “Why me?”
For a while, I thought I was being punished.
Then I thought I was being tested.
Now, I’m wiser (hopefully), and I know there is no point in asking “Why me?”
It just is.