Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I'm feeling a little fragile today. The tears come easily, and I'm not able to be present in situations, like I want to be, like I should be.

My friend's two month old son has RSV (which stands for something, but basically means: Nasty Virus that Causes Lung Gunk that is Really Fucking Serious When You're Two Months Old). I guess NVTCLGTIRFSWYTMO isn't as good of an acronym.

He will be fine, but it's scary as hell to see (or hear about) a baby struggling to breathe. They are hoping to discharge him today or tomorrow with some good medicine and hopefully, prayerfully, peace of mind.

We're doing what you do. Offering to make meals. Calling. Trying to balance between being concerned and being One More Stressor. Praying. Sending Good Thoughts. Sitting in our kitchens, feeling helpless and fretting. And pulling our individual triggers.

What's that, you ask? Ah yes, our triggers. We carry a loaded pistols around. Once in awhile, something will happen that will pull our triggers, blasting out all the fears, worries, and the helplessness that we thought we took care of and put away A Long Time Ago.

In my case, I'm thinking of Joel again. Driving home from Hopkins, I remember thinking, "If Joel gets through this, I will never have another child, because this is just too hard, and I can't live with this kind of worry ever again."

Of course, the worry never goes away. Now I wipe down my cart with Clorox Wipes when we visit Target and make bargains with God after a strange kid coughs right into Joel's face. I literally see germs, crawling like maggots on surfaces, waiting to attack my kids, my family, my whole world.

This from the girl who used to pick up grapes off the floor with her bare feet and eat them.

So, no, the worry never goes away. This makes God, to quote Anne Lamott, "want to drink gin directly from the cat dish." The whole point of belief, of knowing God, is knowing that He will be our soft place to fall. Worry is the attempt to solve a problem ourselves, instead of leaning on Him. Easier said than done.

I know that this episode has pulled my other friends' triggers, too. It's not my place to write about their issues. It reminds me, though, of the importance of kindness, of thoughtfulness, with words, with actions. Because we're human, we're all guilty of carrying our concealed, loaded weapons, and we need each other to keep the safety on.

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