You don’t need to be a Saturday Night Live aficionado, to appreciate the humor in Dan Aykroyd’s, forever loved spoof of Julia Child. There he is in obvious and unflattering drag, attempting a French accent while cutting up a chicken, unexpectedly flaying himself in the process. As blood squirts everywhere, his cry into battle before crumpling into a heap is, “Save the liver!” and the question in the humor is why?
Of course you could attribute it to the fact, the French love their pâté and of course that means liver. However recently I saw the skit in a different light, and found a deeper meaning, one of don’t forget me I have a purpose. In a recent news interview, a woman claiming to have been an atheist, returned from a near death experience, saying she met God. She had voiced her desire to stay in heaven, but knew her family needed and would miss her. In the exchange God was to have told her, “They will be just fine without you.” Atheist or not, are we no more than chopped liver in the greater scope of things?
Self worth is a wonderful thing, it gets us up in the morning looking like more than a wrinkled pile of clothing and skin, and changes ideas into productivity, which in turn make the world go round. No one has ever died from a broken heart, but a broken spirit or loss of self worth can be traced to depression, and other mental illnesses, which can be fatal. So what exactly is the liver factor here? Other than an organ not unlike the heart, which may or may not play the blues, but still plays a vital role in our survival.
If you look at the liver for what it is, no more than a mass of tissue, blood and assorted DNA, it acts as a filter to keep all that is bad from our body, while keeping us as healthy as we allow ourselves to be, a lot like being a parent or friend. Daily we valiantly try to stand in-between everything we view as harmful and those we love, taking the hit as often as possible, hoping to have softened the blow when it does eventually reach them. When this happens we have proven our self worth to ourselves and our value , which translates into the love we feel for them, and what we assume they feel for us. That into consideration, I sit here exasperated and frustrated. Why does God think they would be just fine without me? Talk about feeling selfish and worthless.
We humans are an odd lot really, we think with our hearts most of the time, forgetting our heads have the manual, and we assume our position and value to others, causing great disappointment when it doesn’t turn out that way – needless to say, there should be a manual for the latter. Loyalty and love are two of the hardest emotions to find in life and also the hardest to turn off. Ask the 90 year old parent with a 60 something child – it never changes, we need to feel wanted and needed, accepted and loved, chopped liver be damned.
Pulling my ego away from the mirror and assorted family albums, I clearly see my children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews and assorted friends are doing just fine They have families and careers, accomplishments and dreams, which I have to admit, I know I was not a part of the majority of them, no matter how much I wish I had been. Yes, they will, and have gotten along just fine without me – a fact I know, almost as much as the world I tried to filter away from them. I can only hope at some point I did make a difference and they will remember to save it, maybe looking back when they are no longer an organ donor of care, wondering if their efforts ever made an impact.
We do live in a divine comedy; despite the fires of Hell that occasionally engulf us, through anger, pain and suffering. The best we can ever hope for is to be loved and wanted, our self worth saved along with the memories and moments, that make us family and friends. However, the sad truth is the blood may not squirt and pool around us as we suffer, but the pain is every bit as real, realizing life does go on without us doing our best to help, share and filter for those we love – maybe that’s why most people say they hate liver.