Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Of hand grenades

TLDR: I’m tired of all the crap.

Years ago when my older son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, another mother who went to our church was just absolutely devastated by the situation. She also had two sons and one of them had had serious health issues. For whatever reason, she completely identified with what we were going through. Maybe our situation allowed her to feel things she hadn’t let herself feel with her own child’s problems, I don’t really know. I do remember being surprised by her reaction.

Similarly, a few years ago, a co-worker lost his toddler daughter; she died in a freak accident in her babysitter’s home. That death just rippled through our workplace. For me, I immediately relieved Jordan’s fall from our babysitter’s window, his skull fracture and all the terror I felt then. At least two friends of mine took voluntary separation packages from our employer to stay home with their children because they couldn’t contemplate the possibility their children might also have accidents like that.

And here’s the point of today’s blog. On Friday, a friend—I’ll call her by her initials—was laid off. LAU and I worked together at Sprint. We share the same birthday and when we worked together, we were both finishing our bachelor’s degrees while still working full time. She was married and had two daughters and a son; her son was born prematurely, just as my younger son was, although hers was born much early. I don’t know that he was expected to live, but he did pull through.

Then one of her daughters developed cancer. I think she was four? I’m not sure. She underwent a lot of chemo and whatever else she needed and seemed OK for a bit. But the cancer returned and the daughter died. As can often happen, LAU’s marriage didn’t survive the death of her child.

LAU had done so well and stayed almost entirely off the bitter divorce bus even though she was truly mistreated by her ex. She’d been working two jobs to keep her house and seemed to have really turned the corner in just about every way. Now this.

Her news has devastated me. I am sitting here in Boston wanting to lash out at someone, anyone, on her behalf. My reaction is out of proportion and I imagine she would be as surprised by it as I was by my friend at church all those years ago.

But I’ve had enough. Enough bad news, enough with the economy, family illnesses, my own health situation, yet another round of water damage and destruction and more reconstruction and mess and chaos, enough joblessness, just enough, enough, enough.

Kent and I were talking the other night. We’ve definitely lived the “in bad times” part of our marriage vows. We’d really like a chance to live the “in good times” too.