Wednesday, March 14, 2012
My blog for March 14, 2012 ------ Pots Of Gold
On this St. Patrick's Day, I've been thinking about pots of gold. About what people live with every day and how all of them are heros. Every day, every battle for normalcy takes place in everybody's lives. Of course, "normalcy" really is what we aspire to instead of what we should expect. But if we don't aspire to our version of normalcy, we drown and give up.
I have a friend who lost her husband, only to inherit taking care of her mother who is incapable of being left alone. I have a friend whose son has spinal bifida. His life has been a series of setbacks punctuated by hope for 40 some years. I have a friend who worked her entire life to retire with her husband. The day her husband retired he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. None of their "retirement" plans was realized. I have a friend who had four children, two of whom died of health issues along with their father before the woman was sixty. I have a friend who lived with an extremely painful disease for twelve years before being killed in a carwreck alone on an icy road in the middle of nowhere.
Her copious family continues to be devastated. I have a friend whose husband fights for "normalcy" every day in a frustrating war for balance. I have a friend whose husband abandoned her when she had his child born with extreme birth defects and for twenty eight years has be unable to function. That friend recently inherited her mother to care for as well. She has a job to support the three of them. In fact every one of these people have supported themselves--none of them have expected the government to do it for them. I have many other friends who are in similar situations.
My sympathy is not finite. I'm not sure about empathy. As I dwell on my friends' battles and realize the depth of the shoes they wear, I'm touched. I love them. There is so little I can do for their hearts. I understand sympathy is part of being glad these things have not happened to me. That, I'm grateful to say, has not entered my mind. But helplessness is not hopelessness.
Acceptance of what is may be in looking two minutes ahead, like a child, like an animal really. In understanding that flower bloomed for me today, with no thought of tomorrow. Maybe that's what God meant when he said to come to him as a child, without expectation.
Maybe what he meant was to not have expectations of other people, of life in general. Surely it didn't include having no expectations of oneself. If I had no expectations of myself then I would not think of other people would I? I would have no motivation for myself or to do what I can for my people.
My favorite word as always been "potential." This means to find the best possible way to develop what we come across in life. And is the single shining star about children. A child's gift is a slate of opportunity to be filled in his/her unique way.
Potential is a goal of sorts. But it's so solitary! Unfortunately I don't fit well into my friends' shoes with them. I can't truly be with them when they need more fuel. Such inadequacy! I feel like a band aid that will fall off in the shower in a couple of days. And what I really want is to fix things for them.
The pot of gold is deceiving. Money? Love? Heaven? Peace? Acceptance? Potential? All conjecture. Whatever it is for a person, the road to that pot of gold is a lonely one.