Some news just snaps all other news into perspective. The Santorum campaign sent out a statement today requesting prayers and privacy for their family, as their youngest daughter, Bella, is in the hospital.
Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director, said: “Rick and his wife Karen have taken their daughter Bella to the hospital. The family requests prayers and privacy as Bella works her way to recovery.”
Rick Santorum had already announced a brief hiatus in campaigning. This is the second time this year that Bella, who suffers from a chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18, has had to be hospitalized. In January, she had pneumonia in both of her lungs and spent several days in the ICU.
Bella’s struggle makes me want to just press “Pause.” On a daily basis, we work and play, eat and sleep. It’s usually not until someone is sick that we ponder the precariousness of our lives. It’s worth considering on a regular basis, though. The knowledge that life is short for everyone and thereby especially precious is no excuse to not run for president, build a house, write a book, buy a car, start a company. It should, rather, be an added incentive to embrace life in all its fullness and pursue whatever goals we have with boldness.
But it should also remind us that, if we want to gracefully withstand the daily pressures of life, we have to root ourselves in something transcendent. All political problems and all political solutions are temporal. As T.S. Eliot put, “There is no such thing as a lost cause because there is no such thing as a gained cause. We fight because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory.”
Rick Santorum’s campaign has illustrated such rootedness. He’s not been discouraged by temporary setbacks because he knows life is about so much more than politics. No doubt Bella reminds him of that daily. Today, she serves as that reminder for me, too.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Santorums this Good Friday. May the weekend bring hopeful developments for little Bella.