Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Beginnings and Endings

This week I have been profoundly reminded of endings. You see, my great Uncle Jack’s life ended on Sunday. While we were all surprised, it shouldn’t have been that much of a shock, as he was 86 years old.

I’ve wanted to vocalize something for days; I just haven’t known what to say. I open word to type out my post, and the words just roll around in my head and they can’t seem to find their way to paper, at least in a cohesive way.

As I was returning home from the store late Sunday night, it dawned on me why losing family, or friends is so heartbreaking. Not only are they gone from your life, birthday parties, and holidays they also take a part of you with them.

My grandfather called me weediewart. It was my nickname that he had given me, probably from before I can remember, because I remember being referred by it often. No one calls me that anymore, which on one hand is a good thing, but on the other, it’s something I miss. And to Jack, I wasn’t Abby I was Abb. He left the last letter off my name, and always had. Even when he married us, he called me Abb. And Sunday night I realized that I would never be Abb again. My Aunt Nita calls me by my full name, unless she was joking with me about Jack’s unique nickname. And even if my entire family took to calling me Abb, it wouldn’t be the same. Then the thought came to me that Jack had taken Abb with him, just like my grandfather took weediewart.

Maybe that’s why death and funerals leave such a gaping hole in your life. You just aren’t losing the person, but you are losing a part of you too. I won’t just miss the Abb reference, I’ll miss a lot more, but the thing I know I’ll miss the most. My name.

I was also reminded this week that life is unpredictable. Here today, gone tomorrow. My grandfather hated funerals. He always swore that dying caused a burden to those still living. Maybe he was on to something. This week I often find my mind wandering back to birthday parties and holidays, and to my wedding and to my Aunt. I look over at my husband at night while he sucks the shingles through the ceiling sleeps peacefully and wonder what I would do, if suddenly he were gone. I can’t even begin to imagine. I remember how terrified I was when he a bad wreck a few years ago, and that was just worry over his injuries. I can’t even begin to imagine how my mom felt when my father had a heart attack last year. I hope that I never have to find out. I can’t imagine how quiet our house would be, and the knowledge that it would be like that from here on out. I can understand why so many widows and widowers remarry and even take their own lives. Silence is deafening.

So this Friday I’ll have “date night” with my family instead of just my husband. And instead of dinner and a movie, we will laugh, cry, and celebrate the life of my great Uncle Jack. I can’t think of a better date, or anywhere else I would rather be.

~The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ~Mark Twain

~The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. ~Seneca

~We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love. ~Madame de Stael

~Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

Friday, July 16, 2010

Selfish or Selfless

Several weeks ago there was an article on MSN that discussed whether being childfree by choice was a selfish act or not.

This article pissed me off a few weeks ago, and today, when it popped up again, I was pissed off again.

I love kids, don't get me wrong. And most of the time I would love to have a whole pack of them running around my own house. While I could do this through other means, such as adoption, foster care, or surrogacy; those methods, those options aren't really options for us.

Does that make us selfish? Absolutely not. They all have their own problems, benefits and risks. Do we want to have children? Yep. But neither of us are comfortable with any of the other options. Somedays I regret it like you wouldn't believe, and other days, I'm thankful, that we haven't gone down that little road and made that mistake. I think that adoption should be something that you feel compelled or called to do. Not something you do because you can't have your own child. I want the morning sickness and the stretch marks, and the heartburn, and the constant trips to the bathroom. Or I want nothing.

I don't think that because we are choosing to remain child-free that makes us selfish, I think that it makes us selfless. We know that we would feel differently towards a child that wasn't our own, and if I were to become pregnant, then we would have a real problem on our hands. I don't want to hurt a child, and we both feel that is exactly what would happen. Is it selfish to not want to let another person suffer because we don't feel capable of looking a child that was adopted as "our own"?

What about all the people who just don't want to have children? Not all women are born with a maternal instinct. What about these people who came from abused homes and don't want to see the cycle repeated? What about women and men who never get married? Are they selfish because they don't want to bring a child into a single parent home?

Having children is a personal choice, just like eating healthy. It's no ones business but yours. Your not considered selfish for eating carrots and depriving bunnies around the world from nutrition, why would you be selfish for taking on something that you really don't want to do in the first place? How is it selfish knowing that the child's life wouldn't be as full as it would with someone else as it's parents?

While I realize that the article mentions Sex and the City, a lot, yet this scenario is something that my husband and I face often. Yeah, a lot of it is probably our own insecurities shining through, but it's hard to explain to people that we can't have children and that adoption isn't for us. We get told to relax, to quit trying, to look into, that my friends, husbands, brothers, cousins, sisters, neighbors son adopted and they had no problems. It's personal, and it's hard having people tell us that "it will happen" when, without, serious medical intervention, "it" won't happen. It's not because we aren't relaxed, it's because there is something physically wrong. No one would dream of telling someone who is missing a leg, that just to relax, and when they least expect it they will walk again. But, that's a rant for a different day.

We do lots of selfish and selfless things everyday. Bringing a child into a world that is filled with such uncertainty seems pretty selfish to me. Then again, my husband and I choosing to not have a child seems more selfless to me. We won't have to deal with school shootings, worry about the future for the sake of our children, we won't have to put off retirement to pay for college, we will be able to save for our future, so that we aren't a burden to someone else. That sounds pretty selfless to me.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Doors and Windows

Opportunities are everywhere. You can find them under a rock, or in a shoe, or under a boulder, or out in the blue. I do not like them, Sam I am, I do not like…wait..that’s not right. Where were we? Oh, yeah, opportunities. They are literally everywhere. Some of them you make yourself and others are found along the way.

Then that brings up the whole “when one door closes another opens” concept.

Bet you thought this post was going to have to do with some sort of construction, didn't ya?

Just follow my ADD for a minute.

Things at my job have been slightly sucky lately. The recession has finally hit us here in West Texas and we are slow. Slow enough that the owners are concerned about the business surviving for another 20+ years if things continue as slowly has they have. I was promised a couple of days off, to keep payroll and things down, since things have been so slow. You know that whole cut down on expenses concept. I didn’t get those days off, and basically got paid to play games on the internet, as the “rush” that my immediate boss hoped for, just didn’t happen. I can count on one hand the number of times the phone rang in two days. Then I get another project dumped on me yesterday. Something that while I understand the information one party needs, I don’t know enough about the types of materials we use to WRITE it all down. In words, kinda like I right on here, except without the sarcasm.

So I have wondered, if maybe this isn’t one of those door-closing moments. Except instead of it being slammed shut on my fingers, it’s gradually closing. Or if maybe, just maybe, my half-day off a few weeks ago, was enough time off that I realized that I’m kinda burnt out. I know, I know, how can you not know you are burnt out? Hello, work full time, go to school full time, cook 5-6 meals a week, laundry, must sleep somewhere. It’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. You know, like me.

So the question remains, door closing or …..?

I had planned on finding a new job after the first of the year. I’ll have my associates’ degree in December, and surprising to myself, there are actually people who will hire you with just an associates’ degree. So you know, with these thousands of dollars in student loans I’m racking up, I figured it would be a wise idea. Plus, the longer I’m here, the harder it will be to leave. It’s a small company, most of which have known each other for 30+ years or are related. So I have become “family”. And it’s always hard to leave family behind. Except for Great Uncle Edgar who is 94 and still asks everyone to “pull his finger”. Yeah, won’t miss that guy.

So my question is this. How do you know when one door is slowly closing? Or is God just making it easier on my heart to leave?

I’m pretty sure that the door hasn’t been slammed shut yet; there are no tears, no panic. Instead there is just a “what do I do”, question that keeps looming. Do I stay, do I go, do I wait, do I know?

Darn crystal ball. Rolled it off the table a few weeks ago and broke the stupid thing. Now I have this big gray stain on my carpet and no answers.

Or, am I looking at this all-wrong? Maybe it isn’t about doors and windows; maybe it’s about learning not to worry so much. Maybe it’s about having faith, trusting that God knows what he is doing, without my input. Well, without listening to my input, anyway. I know He sees stuff I don’t, and I’m sure that this is just a test of patience. Wonder if He would be opposed to bribes for a peek at that crystal ball? Probably.

So for the time being I guess I have to quit worrying about doors and windows. I’m going to try to learn to be patient. I’m going to try and take more time off from work. I’m going to try to be patient. Maybe if I repeat it enough it will sink in. I’m going to try and be patient. And have a little faith, that things will all get worked out, that I’ll get all worked. I am my own worst enemy after all. I’ll also spend more time worrying about the things that will never happen.

~ Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. ~John Quincy Adams

~ One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life. ~Chinese Proverb

~ In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't. ~Blaise Pascal


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...