Q: "Mr. Munger, what advice do you have for handling the natural but unexpected adversity of life?"
A: You must solider through. Coping with adversity brings opportunity.
This is a brief interaction I had with Charlie Munger at his "Morning with Charlie" last month. I didn't realize how soon afterward I would rely on this advice and feel lucky to have gotten it.
As I've learned, the "opportunity" he spoke of, is in getting to know yourself and loved ones better, depth and limits. Proving our willpower and emotional fortitude.
In all honesty, it's tough for me to put to words everything felt and experienced over the last few weeks. Jess's stomach pains had been worsening for the last few months as she rotated through different medications from her Dr. Startlingly, her conditions started to spread beyond her stomach. Low grade fevers ever night. Strange bumps on her legs. Within a few days time she was re-diagnosed by a different Dr. and days later admitted to the ER and hospital.
Jess was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. From what I understand, it's an auto-immune disease where her body fights itself, creating ulcers in her intestine and colon. There are no cures for Crohn's, but medicine is available to keep it in remission for years. There were some other complications which needed a small surgery, but Jess has been back home since the previous Friday and has not been in pain since. While the initial diagnosis was upsetting, especially when I found out that she had been admitted to the ER while I was at work, as my Mom says, "thank God it's not cancer."
I'm relieved that Jess has made so much progress in less than two weeks. All that we can do now is to keep moving forward, step by step, one foot in front of the other. We still have a little ways to go, but she's making significant progress.
This morning I realized that the best summary for how I feel is a bizarre combination of two songs: Time in a Bottle, by Jim Croce and Amado Mio by Pink Martini. There's a melancholy appreciation for the finite duration of our lives while at the same time realizing that the sacred experiences we now share bring us closer than we have ever been.
It has been an opportunity to learn about love and how much I love Jess.