Thursday, September 1st, 2016
A couple of my friends have let me know they are upset for me, especially for what they consider to be the unfairness of all that I’ve been going through lately. I’ve wrestled for decades with faith and doubt over my childhood trauma and adult health issues.
Many of the deists who hundreds of years ago helped form our country had thought God was like a clock-maker who wound our world up and walked away. Others thought Him to be like a concerned parent who left us all to grow up and figure out things on our own. I can see the appeal in that theology. He is not typically accused of helicopter parenting.
Some see justice or karma in everything. I am more hesitant. I decided years ago to stop looking for fairness in life beyond the tiny portion I and others might help forge. The cruelty, apathy and injustice in our world is so relentless, you could swear to God that it will never end and will never lose. But I also watch believers and unbelievers alike, endlessly clawing and scraping for a measure of justice for complete strangers in our world. And hope rekindles every day as it must, or we’d all give up.
Almost all my hope in a fairer world has been in witnessing people caring for those who suffer. But so many of those helpers are the ones that have no gods. They are driven by compassion alone and not the fear of hell fire. They’re just people.
When I was in some of my darkest places over the last twenty years, I went several times to the book of Job in the Bible for wisdom about suffering and to find solace and comfort (warning: do not try this at home). I had to eventually stop romanticizing the book and wearing my church blinders. Finally, I had to admit to myself that the ultimate answer after Job’s unspeakable loss and suffering was nothing short of God saying, “How dare you question me, you puny human, I’m the creator of the universe!” I should probably use a bolder font for that.
Then God took Job on a magical mystery tour where he got to see some animals and more of the earth and universe than most of us, which was probably pretty sweet.
Maybe something was lost in translation. God, I hope so. I think that was a patently bullshit answer for everything Job was supposedly forced or allowed to go through and I plan to ask both of them about it someday.
For example, I also couldn’t imagine trying to build character in my adult son by letting him get so sick that he began losing his ability to walk. But maybe that is just me being a helicopter parent. When I get “up there”, maybe I’ll also get yelled at for asking too many questions.
And yet I hope in God’s love and grace. I always will. Call me a fool, but I still believe He loves me more than I do my own children.
Was it unfair to find out at thirty years old that I would be in disabling nerve pain for the rest of my life? Three years ago I was diagnosed with Central Pain syndrome, first discovered in those with strokes and spinal cords injuries. And then of course, a few months ago I started losing the ability to walk and the doctors are still just trying to figure out the hell why. We’re still waiting for the results from the last test for encephalitis.
But do you know what was even more unfair than any of that? The most unfair thing I have ever experienced?
It was when I was staring across the room thirty years ago at a beautiful young girl who eventually said “I do” to me.
She is the fairest woman I’ve ever met and yet powerful enough to cower demons that have chased me my whole life.
Most never once find a woman like her. I found her, guys. I should also probably use a bolder font for that.
Against all odds, I not only found her, but convinced her I was not a terrible idea. I have great acting skills and a little bit of charm. I may have fudged the paperwork on the “in health” part. She only saw a couple of years of that before the “in sickness” clause kicked in.
After taking care of her dad, Amy didn’t get home until shortly before midnight last night. She got up again at three this morning to come out to the living room and check on me as I was there sitting nauseous, weaving and twitching on the couch. She barely stole a few more hours sleep and was out the door by eight to go back to take care of her father again.
She is so weary. She is so beautiful and amazing. She is the strongest person I’ve ever met.
I hugged her a little longer before she rushed out the door to help take care of her dad last night. She admitted she is just worn down. If you knew her, you would know that it takes so very much to bring her to the point of even confessing that she is tired. I assure her that “it will be ok”. For my being a so-called writer, that is the recurring comfort I have failed to improve upon in three decades.
But inside, it is because I remind myself that she has limitless strength, more than any person. Super human is all I have ever seen in her, from the pain of bringing our children into the world to watching her mom pass away a few years ago. Inside, she is a giant and I just want to be more like her.
You think I am strong or inspiring? You have no idea. I’d be nothing without her. I’m so in love. I’m infatuated with her and always will be.
Maybe I am romanticizing or wearing blinders with her. I’m ok with that.
Thirty years ago, I looked over and at first I only thought, “that girl is cute”. I had no clue she was the most powerful person I would ever meet. She has ever tried to help me carry my crosses, along with her own.
Do you think ultimately God’s cosmic ledgers will even out? Do you believe in the movies and the books, secular and holy, that good always prevails or at least is an equal to all the never ending injustice and pain? After so many years of screaming silence, I only have enough faith left to pray for others, not for myself. I have so many doubts. And yet I reach for hope. I try to be fair. And I fail miserably. And so I try again and again. Fortunately, I have a few incredible examples of empathy and selflessness in the world and more importantly, in person and in my life. I have a bright shining one by my side, every morning and night.
Someone else may have earned it, but I never deserved a woman as strong and wonderful as Amy. Maybe that more deserving man than me still walks around single to this day. I bet he doesn’t have a cane.
But he also doesn’t have her.
Thank God that life is unfair.