Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day of morbidity

When not doing a media blackout, I like to tune in to the news in the morning to see if the world has ended overnight and if so, for whom. Today it ended for a couple of people in interesting ways.

The first report I saw was of the Continental flight with a dead pilot. When I tuned in, the plane was still in flight and was about to land, being flown by the copilot. I wonder if they informed the passengers of the situation. "May I have your attention, passengers? This is the copilot. Your esteemed pilot kicked the bucket this morning and we need to make a landing to get his corpse taken off before he stiffens up and can't be easily removed from the cockpit." Okay, maybe not like that. All due respect to the dearly departed pilot and his family. Hearing of his passing has hit me with some sadness, even though I never met him.

The next story was about a recent tornado. They showed some excellent coverage of the tornado near Aurora, Nebraska. It was taken by A. J. Fable, filming while driving into the mess. At one point Fable said, "...literally in front of my eyes look at this!" and "I'm literally 400 yards away from it!" He said, "This is truly incredible!" The news reporter then said, "and it is with incredible sadness that I report this gentleman's death from the tornado." Okay, so I'm paraphrasing but I was blown away (pun intended). Again, I was struck with a mixture of emotions: sadness for the guy's loss and sad for his family, but also it tickled my sick side that enjoys a good morbid laugh. It just seemed somewhat absurd; this guy driving into a tornado so excited about the footage he was getting, then him dying, then the news broadcasting this incredible footage and having to report the man's death. On one hand, it's a great homage to the man that they show this film that he "literally" died for, on the other, I wonder if he'll be put up for a Darwin Award.

*Edited to add: I have been searching for an article about Fable's death and can't find anything, which leads me to wonder if the reports of his death have been greatly exaggerated. Perhaps the news clip I saw this morning was in error. I know what I saw, I had Dave come and see it, too, and we blipped it back on the Tivo a few times. What I say I saw I saw, he saw she saw we saw seasaw and all that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A test of faith

I've recently learned, again, one of the many lessons that parenthood is meant to teach me. This lesson is one of faith. I've had many lessons about faith in my life, which leads me to believe that faith is one of those things you can never know enough about and never have enough of. Faith also ranks up there among the most important lessons in life, if not the most important.

In this life we are meant to learn many things. We have challenges that push us in different directions, that guide us and shape us, make us who we are and who we are meant to become. Over the last few years I've faced many challenges. I've written about several of them right here. Time and time again I've come out at the end of these challenges feeling as if I had just run a marathon, so to speak. The TSA/DOL challenge was one that shook my entire world and pushed me to the ground crying and screaming, but with the help of my wonderful husband and the support of our friends and family, I was able to meet that challenge knowing that I didn't have to do it alone. The battle is still being fought, but I/we have won all the battles thus far.

Even with all other challenges, I've learned the most from my boys. The boys have given me the greatest lesson in faith, more than anything else. From trying to conceive them while keeping the faith that Dave and I would someday have a family, to pushing forward through a very rocky IVF cycle, then keeping the faith through the challenges of a twin pregnancy, it has all been about faith. I am reminded of faith every night when I put them in their cribs and want to check on them every hour, watch them to make sure they take breath after breath, that time will pass and they will grow and thrive, it's all about faith. I keep the faith when I have to leave one to attend to the other; have faith that the one left behind is in a safe place and will be just fine until I can be back with him again.

Faith is in the big things and in the little things. It is with faith that we allow our beloved cat, Tempest, to go out freely to play and do what cats will do, even though we know what dangers might be out there for him. We have faith that he'll return each night for a can of food and a cuddle. It is with faith that we say goodbye from telephone calls with our loved ones, having faith that we will speak to them again and have another chance to tell them we love them, even though we know full-well that sometimes we don't get that chance. It's with faith that we put off calling some loved ones because we are too tired or have other things to do, having faith that we can always call them later, even though sometimes we never get to make that call. Even when sometimes our faith fails us in some matters, we still pick ourselves up and push forward because faith is immeasurable and immense.

Every day in every way, it all comes down to faith.

Tempus fugit

Ben Franklin once said, "nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." I believe in one other certainty, the passage of time. Today a friend of mine asked me how I got through the weeks without Dave when the boys were just infants requiring round-the-clock attention. She asked how I felt right before he left each time, if I was afraid or freaked out. What I remember about those days, a blur even though they were just a few months ago, was thinking that time will pass no matter what and that all I had to do was go through the motions and the time will take care of the rest.

When Halie died in the fire and my brother was in the burn ICU, letting time take over was of comfort to me. Just watching the clock pass even 15 seconds was a comfort to me because it was a reminder that no matter what, time passes and all I have to do was push forward and let time carry me.

Since the boys were born it amazes me at how time seems to have picked me up and carried me so swiftly, so smoothly. The last eight months have just flown by and I feel like before I know it the boys will be 5, 10, 16, 18, 21... my little baby boys will be men before I know it. I've heard having children ages a person, maybe that's so, but I believe that having children puts one in another dimension where time suddenly passes much faster. I discovered it as soon as the boys were born and wrote about it in my post, "Baby time."

Time is an amazing thing because you can't hold it, you can't store it, you can't own it, and we're fooling ourselves if we think we can "buy time." Time owns us and when it is done with us, it lets us go. Through the years people come in and out of our lives, people are born and they die, and through it all time passes and will continue to pass no matter what happens or where we are.