Friday, February 22, 2008

I don't know you do it...

Once my previous physician said to me, "I don't know how you do it--two special needs kids, a job, and a house to take care of."

Then she said, "I don't know how any of us do it."

One of my students is a single mom who works at a bar and goes to school. She said, "We do it because we don't have a choice."

Profound words from this lady.

Yes, I do exist and attempt to function in a state of controlled chaos much of the time. However, things could be a lot worse. Once my youngest was hospitalized overnight with asthma. When she fell asleep, I wandered down to the hospital cafeteria. A young woman was there. She was all of eighteen, and she said that, when she got pregnant in high school, her family disowned her. The father of the baby stayed with her, but then the baby was diagnosed and given only so many more months to live. The father of the baby couldn't handle the stress and left this young woman for a more "normal" relationship--the neighbor woman, who had three children. The mother of the baby called her family, and they told her she had to live with her choices, so here she was in the hospital, with the only family she had dying.

So, yes, things are hectic and stressful. But the kids are healthy, and I will see them grow up and become whatever they can become. I am not in a deserted, fluorescent-lit cafeteria, getting small comfort from a stranger.

I don't know what happened to this young mother--we talked a good part of the night, and then I never saw her again, but I remember the grace she showed in what, to me, was an unbearable situation. And in her grief, she gave me a great gift, the gift of perspective.

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