Piland family unforgettable in difficult time

  • John Sleeper
  • Monday, September 3, 2007 10:25pm
  • Life

Spent an hour or so with the Piland family of Snohomish. An account will be in Tuesday’s paper.

I continue to be in awe of them. We’ve written about Dave Piland, 43, public-address voice of the Silvertips who found out he had brain cancer nearly two years ago. He isn’t in great shape, but the family remains strong.

I’m in awe of their strength and faith. I’m convinced they can do anything. My personal familial experience is just about as polar opposite as what I see in them. Having grown up in an alcoholic family, I’m stunned at the togetherness and obvious affection they collectively display. They make it look so easy. Part of me says, “Wow! They really love each other.” Another part wonders what it’s like. That’s the fascination. It’s the kind of feeling I strive to have with my daughter. To my surprise and delight, I think we have it nailed.

Forgive me for making this blog a little more personal than it probably needs to be, but the impact this family has had on me is palpable. It’s also gotten me thinking that the Pilands are only one of thousands and thousands of families going through this.

What a woeful state our health-care system is in. Why don’t we have a program in place that can take away the awful financial burden that families such as the Pilands bear? Where are our priorities? It’s estimated that, by the time our involvement in Iraq is over, this country will have spent between $1 trillion and $2 trillion. And what about loss of life? As much money as we’ve spent, more than 3,600 Americans still have died in Iraq since President Bush declared Mission Accomplished on May 1, 2003.

I cry for our troops. I just wonder about our policies and yes, our priorities.

What better ways can we spend what we spend in Iraq, the $1 billion a day?

The annual budget for National Cancer Research is $4 billion.

Just when was it when we forgot to care for our own families when they needed it most?

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