Tuesday, May 21, 2013

sleep will not come easy tonight

I kind of don't know what to do with myself right now, so here it is.

I've gotten kind of complacent when bad things happen. Not so much when they happen to me, but when it comes to other people. Maybe complacent isn't even the right word, but it's all I can think of right now.

The thing is, when bad things happen to other people, I automatically and truthfully believe that it's going to get better. Everything you want, everything you need is going to happen for you because it has to. Because bad things shouldn't happen and only good things should happen and everyone I know and love is deserving of only good things in their life.

And already I see a flaw in my thinking.

Because bad things do happen. And they happen to good people. And sometimes bad things happen to make us appreciate the good things. And through God, beauty comes from ashes. He gives gladness for mourning, and peace for despair. He heals hearts. He comforts.

I know better.

But I've fallen into this place of believing that the people I love should somehow be protected. Safe inside this bubble. Capable of being appreciative and understanding and grateful and compassionate without ever having to experience pain, or loss, or suffering.

Tonight there is a 6-year-old boy in the hospital. On life support. He has swelling and fluid in his brain. A few days ago he was happy and healthy. He plays soccer. He's in first grade. He's ready for summer.

Earlier today his parents took him to the local hospital because he had a temperature of 104. The doctors kept him for a few hours and then released him. They said he had viral pneumonia. Shortly after, his parents rushed him to the children's hospital in a bigger town 45 minutes away with possible meningitis. Now the doctors have said they've done all they can. They've declared him brain dead. They've given him until morning. That's only a few short hours away, really.

What if he only has a few hours left of his already short little life?

The boy's father, Florencio, is an old friend from church. My dad is the one who married the child's parents. I've known Flo since I was eleven. The same can be said of the boy's grandmother, Molly, and Elisse, his aunt. Elisse and I used to be pretty close. Her son is his best friend. I know his great aunts and uncles, his great-grandparents, and so many of his cousins. I taught his older brother in my children's church class.

I met his uncle, Ruben, in an entirely different manner. Friends since 7th grade science class long before realizing our connection through his half-brother, Flo. He and I have been through a lot together these past 10+ years. My heart hurts for him. I've reached out to him. To let him know that I love him, and that I am here for him and praying. It's all I can do.

I know this family. It may have been awhile since we've seen each other, but that love is still there. I know that they are hurting, but I know that they are pulling together. I know they are praying. Praying for a miracle to come.

When I first heard he was going to the hospital, I honestly thought he would be okay. It took hearing that things had taken a turn for the worse to really wake me up. I feel so guilty about that. I feel like I live in some fantasy world half the time. Maybe it's more delusion than it is complacency.

I just can't help hoping. And I am still hoping, but my faith is shaken. Now it seems so much more real, and I'm scared. I know it's in God's hands and that whatever happens is his will, but I'm so aware of how much more pain could come from this. As much as I don't want to think of it, I can see the potential for the good should it go that way, but I know how much of the bad they will have to sift through first and I am scared.

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I had this same kind of news. My friend from high school, Tony, had been involved in a hit and run. Someone had hit him while he was riding his bike, and left him for dead. When he was found, there was a slim chance that the doctors could save him. So we hoped.

I cried and prayed and begged for prayer and I believed that he was going to pull through. Because he had to. Because bad things shouldn't happen to people I love. And the world needed him. And I'd always said I wanted to know him when he was old. I'd always said that.

But he didn't make it. It just wasn't the time for that kind of miracle.

We later found out that had they bothered to stop after hitting him, he could have lived. And as much as that truth hurts, and as much as the whole experience hurts, I know that good came out of all the pain. He was an organ donor. People lived because of him. He was getting ready to take the MCAT, but he didn't need medical school to save lives. And his death brought some of us closer together. Those who loved him healed together. We embraced each other through our mutual love for him and got through it.

I know better than to question God's plan. I don't do it. But I don't know what it's going to take for my heart to ever be able to handle loss. For me, for other people. I've never met this child, but I love his family. And I feel their pain. I'm carrying it with me now. I don't want this child to suffer. I don't want anyone to suffer.

So I'm just here. Trying to sort out my feelings. Praying. Hoping. Wishing for this family to feel the love I am sending them from four hours and many miles away. I don't know what will happen over the next few hours. No one does but God, I guess. As much as I want it, I know there's a chance that it may not be time for that kind of miracle. But I know that God is going to take care of things. What He decides will be right. And maybe believing in the best for the people I love means believing that everything will someday be better. Someday okay. But I don't want anyone to hurt. And right now my heart is so heavy. And sleep will not come easy tonight.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Never the same love twice

I have a trip planned to Frisco in less than two weeks. It's been much too long since I've seen a dear friend and her family and I need to fix that.

Also, the last time I was there, said friend, Ashley, was pregnant but we just didn't know it. Meaning, I completely ignored the sweet little girl she was already growing. Quite rude on my part.

So along with fixing my social faux pas aimed at dear little Elayne, I'm needing some face time with my friend. Because I miss her.

But tonight I decided that while I'm up there, I needed to put in a little time with another friend who I'm missing. I need to go see Taylor.

I don't always like talking about Taylor. It's been 2 years and a little over 4 months now since we lost him. The pain of losing him has lessened, but sometimes, like tonight, like just in this precise moment, it just punches me in the stomach. I've come to realize that I don't do well with loss. Maybe because I keep losing these amazing people. I don't know.

But while looking at the map and trying to figure some things out for my trip, I realized that with Ashley's recent move, she has ended up just a little bit closer to where he's buried. Not much closer, it actually wouldn't have made much of a difference to drive there from Argyle, but I guess it was enough to make me take notice of the map.

He was from Leonard, Texas. It's a small town. Just under 2,000 people. It's the kind of place that you poke fun at for being so small, but that helps produce some amazing people like my friend.

When he died, and we made that trip to Leonard, exactly 2 years and 4 months ago today, I couldn't handle it. I was a mess. The pain manifested in so many strange ways. The sight of each local establishment shot right through me. Places he grew up knowing. Places he had casually mentioned. Places he had poked fun of himself. I couldn't handle it. My anxiety was at an all time high. I had a hard time breathing and I thought my heart would beat right out of my chest.

It was miserable.

Somehow, through the comfort and strength of others who loved him, through the support of those who love me, and through the memory of him, I made it through that weekend. But some of those sites and memories still haunted me.

Once, on a trip to San Antonio, a friend and I drove through a strip of land that just resembled an area of my trip to Leonard and all those memories came rushing back. My friend offered to drive through it for me. I stayed behind the wheel, but had to force myself to breathe.

I guess some things will just get to you that way. But I still feel a need to go there. I never went to the grave site. And writing this now I realize that I never told anyone that. I don't think I did. Honestly, as good a memory as I have, a lot of that pain has blurred together. The timeline is a little fuzzy. But I know we never went. After the funeral, Murch said he didn't feel comfortable going, so the six of us that were together didn't.

I would have gone, but those people, those boys especially, Murch and Shelby, got me though those days. And so many days before and after. They taught me that it was okay to laugh again. I needed to be with them. I would have done anything for them. I still feel that way.

And it was okay then, not to go. But I think now a part of me needs to see him. I don't know why. I don't expect answers or closure. I'm not even looking for answers or closure. I've never questioned his death. It's just always been a part of God's plan. I don't need to understand any more than that. And I know he's not in that place. I know he's in Heaven, probably wishing I wouldn't cry about his death and those days the way I am now. But I want to go. I think a part of me needs to go. It's weighing on me. Ever since I caught sight of that map. I can't explain it.

I'm kind of scared about it, but the idea is in my head. And what's a two-hour round trip detour? Not much. Certainly not for a friend such as him. Not for someone whom I loved and who loved me so much.

So I'm trying to figure it out. And of course, he would be buried in an even smaller town outside of Leonard where the only existing markers seem to be a church and a cemetery. It makes it a little hard to figure out directions, but for him I'll do it.

I loved him. I still love him. He was this beautiful picture of love and happiness and friendship, and I miss him. And I feel the need to see him. So I'll spend this trip visiting people that I still get to love tangibly, and finish it with a visit to one who I can't anymore.

At least not in that way. Not that I've ever loved anyone completely the same way to begin with.

"There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice."

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that.

He was right.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I don't want to be the blog entry equivalent of Lisa Loeb's "Stay"

According to the May issue of Cosmo, my mantra this month, as a Gemini, is "Express Yourself."

I can dig it. It's very Madonna.

See, the Cosmo astrologer is urging me to "Write a thought-provoking blog post that captures a big idea."

Yeaaaaahhh, honestly, that sounds like something I'd be inclined to ignore.

Maybe it's because I don't ever really seek to write "thought provoking" blog posts when I decide to write. I'm just kind of throwing thought minutiae and brain clutter out into the corners of the internets.
So do I need to get all introspective and deep now?

Maybe controversial is the way to go.

My horoscope does go on to say that I shouldn't bother with getting distracted by other people's opinions. Because they don't see my master plan.


I mean, tbh, I don't see my whole master plan either, but there's no need to be critical.


But yeah, about that whole "Express yourself" thing...

You see, now I feel like I've been put on the spot. I can't think of any thought provoking things. I'm sure at some point, I've had some thought provoking ideas. But right now everything sounds lame.

Not too long ago I know for sure that I had something cooking up in my brain about Madonna. (She seems to be becoming a recurring theme here...) I dunno. I was just listening to one of her albums and felt like she was speaking to me. There was subject matter there, but I got distracted and yeah...

And then there are those moments when "Sex and the City" kick starts the deep thoughts in my head. I have like, half a blog post written dedicated to the season 4 episode about confronting your ghosts. I was all about that analyzing that episode with a box of tissues in tow. Carrie just gets me. True story.

Of course, now I realize that I start having thought provoking ideas when I feel that celebrity musicians and fictional character are speaking to me. Awesome.

That sounds great. If anyone ever wanted me committed, I've giving them all the evidence they need.

I just know there's something lodged in this head of mine. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself for greatness. You can't force it. It's gotta come naturally. I don't want to be the blogging equivalent of Lisa Loeb's "Stay."

I don't really know what I mean by that, but it makes sense on some level.

I mean, yes, I love the song and I'm all about interpretive dance and singing it out like nobody's business when I hear it. And it was kind of a hit. Top of the charts 1994...

Just trust me, it totally makes sense in my head. Kinda. A little bit. Just go with it.

Okay, you know what, yes, my horoscope says that my creative juices are flowing and to focus on my imagination, BUT (just re-read this) it also says to commit to a project AFTER the 15th.

Check the date. Yeah...not there yet. 

If the thought-provoking post is my project, then there's still time. I can do this.

And yes, I know there aren't exactly consequences for not listening to this suggestion, but if my creative juices are really flowing, then it could be a missed opportunity. I hate those.

Ever read the Craigslist "Missed Connections"? Heartbreaking.

And that was a joke. Actually, so are just about all of the Craigslist missed connection entries.

But I don't want to squander any creative mojo so I'll give this another shot in a few days.

Of course, I can't help but wonder how things could have been different had the theme of my horoscope been defined by another Madonna song.

And yes, they totally went Madonna with this one, because Pisces, Taurus, and Capricorn were also urged to express themselves in some way or another.

But seriously, "Hung Up" or "Lucky Star" or "Vogue" would have been cool. "Material Girl", yeah, there's definitely something in that one.

"Ray of Light"?

"Like a Virgin"...??

SO many options! Don't you think "Express Yourself" is a little phoned in here?

Get it together, Cosmo. If my imaginary blog readers are disappointed I'm blaming you. You can deal with the angry mobs and hate mail.