Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Where's the good in all this, someone asked...

I don't know.

Maybe there isn't any upside to dealing with this all.

I mean, I'm not an expert on this. I don't even have CCMs. I'm just the mom.

But I had a guest today. A visitor. An intake worker, from the regional agency, who wanted to know every detail of our lives. Every. Single. One.

BBB is turning 21 soon, and he'll be transferring to adult services. This is all part of how this bureaucratic crap rolls, apparently.


The thing is, we laughed. A lot. She was hilarious. A tiny, wisp of a woman, she had a wicked sense of humor and a bit of a trucker mouth. That makes her my favorite kind of person.

"I'm sorry to hear about your struggles," she finally said.

"Why," I asked. "Look, if this hadn't happened, I would have been a horrible person. Dealing with this stuff, it changes you. It tempers you. How can you be sorry about that?"

That's when she confided she had a heart condition. Her parents had been told she'd never survive to see her first birthday.


"I'm better for it, too," she said. "I help people, with my job and life. I have a purpose now. But more important, I know how damn beautiful life can be."

And I wouldn't have met her. I wouldn't have had this afternoon if this hadn't happened in our lives. And that's beautiful too.

I wouldn't have met my son's doctors or case manager or teachers, or so many of our friends. I wouldn't have gotten the chance to spend a weekend last winter learning how to snowmobile with Marie at Easter Seals, and I wouldn't have dared to stand in the middle of a frozen lake, listening to the ice cracking beneath my feet. And I wouldn't have appreciated how magical that moment, and life, was.

Because of this, so many people have come into my life, into my child's life, into my family's lives.

Because of this, I went back to my passion: writing. I built a new career, I signed with agents, I published books. I tried to make a difference, even if it was to entertain someone for a few hours.

Because of this, I picked a man, a good man, a man who stands beside me and fights with me, to marry that I might never have been smart enough to pick before.

Yeah, but where's the positive in all this, someone asked the other day.

Everywhere, I wanted to say. It's bizarre to think there's not some good that's come from all this. And I've been thinking about it a lot since.

Doesn't mean I wouldn't take it back, my son's diagnosis. Doesn't mean I wouldn't wave a magic wand and make my child healthy and whole. In a heartbeat, I would.

But I can't. And make no mistake: I don't believe for one second there's good inherent in any this. No. It doesn't work that way. There's no automatic positive side, no gift just plopped there when something awful happens to you.

It's up to you to give it meaning, though. It's up to you to decide to find the good and the purpose and allow it to change you. It's all up to you.

So, where's the good in all this? I still don't know. I'm just the mom, for pete's sake. But what I do know, all I know, is that I think you can find it. You just have to see it.


  1. Laughter is so crucial! Laugh at the madness, the blessing, the curse, and the irony. Laugh because you can identify but you just never heard it put that way! I love your writing.

  2. And I love yours. Your blog is very powerful, and always leaves me w so much to think on.But yes, laughter IS crucial, isn't it?


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