i only wear white when it rains

because blogging is cheaper than therapy

existential sucker punch

with 3 comments

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“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Warning: this blog will most likely offend everyone I know, but please don’t email me trying to save my soul (only Starbucks can do that).

Yenta: I’m sorry. I “went there.”

LLJM: This is a Yuengling conversation

GBFF: Thanks for those threads (the not-itchy ones)

Recently it seems everyone I know on Facebook vowed to include in their prayers a precious toddler who was fighting for his life following a tragic accident.

I don’t know this family, but the boy’s pictures would pop up in my newsfeed, and I’d stare at his sweet, cherubic face feeling my stomach twist into a knot of grief for his mother.

I understand the family is deeply religious, and there was an outpouring of support from the community. I’d read posts about him being in “God’s hands,” and all I could think was, “I hope he’s in the hands of a good doctor and someone is bringing those poor people a breakfast sandwich.”

I’d read that “God is ALWAYS Good,” and knew that although the deeply faithful would find comfort in that, all I could think was, “Easy for you to say since your child is not intubated.”

Yesterday a family member posted that this little guy was “with Jesus now.”

This is not an obituary.

This is me catching my breath after an existential sucker punch to my gut.

If prayers were calculated like votes in a presidential election, this kid would have won by a landslide. An entire community got down on its knees and begged God to save this child. And yet.

How do we reconcile this?

Thankfully most people will seek solace in the warm blanket of their beliefs.

But what about those of us who find organized religion to be an itchy, wool blanket that clashes with our decor?

I don’t have the answers, but in the meantime I guess we look to the universe to help us knit our own blanket using threads of experience, karma and free will.

Let’s bedazzle it with a sense of humor. If you don’t believe the universe has one, then you’ve never been sitting in a rural cafe in La Tourette, France (population 12) missing your deceased father as the song from his memorial video is heard playing in the kitchen.

Accept the knots woven by chance and cosmic intervention.

You don’t have to accept death.

Just understand that it’s illogical and can’t be undone with a frantic, mid-day trip to Petsmart hoping that they have one spotted green pufferfish left.

Realize that while prayer may help you accept your fate, it doesn’t change the universe. She’s a stubborn bitch.

And although I hope that when my number is called, death is as slow and inefficient as the Fresh Market seafood counter, there are no guarantees I’ll be here tomorrow to help Nan find her phone (it wasn’t in the refrigerator like she thought), or maniacally pick at my daughter’s inner ears with a Q-tip instilling in her a lifelong fear of earwax.

So I hope my eight year old knows I allowed her to eat hot dogs not because I’m unaware of the consequences that random animal parts marinating in sodium nitrate will have on her brain, but because I want her to one day look back with fondness at the garbage she used to eat as a kid the way I do when I spot Little Debbie Star Crunch cakes. She needs to enjoy that chocolate chip cookie now before she learns about fat grams.

I hope she has patience, realizing that she is genetically predisposed to road rage. She needs to know that motherfucking every person who cuts her off in traffic will only make her Botox wear off faster.

Besides, we wait our entire lives for some things. Like self actualization or All Berries Crunch Berry cereal.

I hope she never forgets that beauty is found around even the sharpest corners.

This morning, she stopped in our driveway to look up.

“Mommy…look at the sky. It’s so beautiful.”

And that’s when I realized that sometimes we learn more from our children than we can ever teach them.

My daughter is an “old soul” according to my Gram. If anyone can see angels, it’s her.

And so I end this also hoping that she saw the angel of that little boy today.

And he was smiling.

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Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

November 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

Posted in heady

3 Responses

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  1. I can’t swallow.

    Jeanne Siversen

    November 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

  2. Thank you for this… It made me feel so much less alone. I woke yesterday to the news of that sweet little boy. I was caught off guard as I started to cry on the way to school as I told my youngest that the boy who’s name was on that Chick Fil A sign has passed away. This comes on top of losing my dear sweet neighbor of 8 years in August, who in a strange turn of events was like my father-in-law because my brother ended up marrying his daughter 5 years ago. Then a little over a month ago another dear kind giving soul was murdered unexpectedly on a sunny Sunday afternoon while he helped a friend install new tile in his house. Then yesterday I attended yet another funeral for another kind and giving friend who I was so fortunate enough to go to school with and have our confirmation together. She was only 44, and she got sick and died in only 4 days. I was raised Catholic, but somewhere along the way I stopped believing all that I was taught. I listen how Columbine kids who professed their faith were shot in the head and I listened how people would pray and pray and their children would still die. It wasn’t an easy decision and I still often struggle with it. It would be so much easier if I believed there was a bigger plan and some higher authority was in charge. Without going into too much detail, I just can’t do that anymore. I cried so hard yesterday morning for all of those lost loved one, even the little boy who I was never fortunate enough to meet. But, as a mother, I can only imagine the pain his family must be going through. My big struggle now is guilt. Why them? Why do I get to live? Why are we healthy? It’s a tough one when my daughter asks me, why do people have to die? And I don’t have any answers for her. I will say one thing… the last five months has taught me to appreciate everything and tell the people you love TODAY how you feel.

    Michele Farley

    December 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    • Michele:

      You have had a ton of loss this year. Any thinking individual would have her moments where she just stops and says, “Are you f’ing kidding me?” I know that I would.

      My close friend and I were having a heady conversation one time about tragedy, loss, life and spirituality. He listened intently while I told him that spirituality to me is this sticky soup of karma with chunks of chance, and a sprinkle of cosmic intervention stirred by the slotted spoon of free will.

      He pondered all that before asking, “Is it served hot or cold?”

      And that was when he reminded me of its most important ingredient: laughter.

      Hang in there.


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