Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Death With A Chance for Life

A man came to my box office window today to buy tickets for Altar Boyz. He needed five tickets and I gave him two choices. There were five tickets available in the fourth row center or seventh row center. He asked me what I thought. Now I tend to leave that decision up to the patron. They know how close is too close for them. It's all personal. I told him both locations were full view and good. I asked him if he liked to be close. He shook his head so I suggested that seventh row be his choice. After the choice was made he asked me where I would sit. I told him with those two choices I would choose the seventh row. Truth!

Then he proceeded to tell me a story. He was in the examination room today with a patient and a translator. I have now realized he is a doctor. Anyway, he said that the patient, a lady, needs a liver transplant. She has two options. She can stay in this country where she will probably die while waiting for the transplant or she can go back to Japan to see her family and certainly die. The choice here is excruciatingly painful. Death seems imminent either way. But there is the chance of life. A small chance. He posed the question, "What would you do?"

I love my family so much and the thought of never seeing them again is terribly painful and sad. I also compared the situation to that of a game show. You come in with nothing and you want the million dollars so you keep taking chances because even if you don't win you have no less than you came with. If she leaves there is death if she stays there is death with a chance for life.

The doctor said he cried right along with her as the translator translated this prognosis. She now has to make a difficult decision. I dare say it's probably the most difficult decision she's ever had to make in her life. A decision she couldn't make today. He said maybe tomorrow she will have an answer.

Is the chance of life more important than being with your family if death may claim you anyway?

I couldn't answer his question. I still can't answer it right now. I know that it makes picking out seats and stressing over loud neighbors seem absolutely trivial.