Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You're not used to good news, eh?

I love our security guard at work.  His name is Paul and he's a gruff, Republican, gun toting sweetheart of a guy., and I'm pretty sure he'd take a bullet for me.  His daughter struggled with infertility and after years of treatment finally conceived.  Recently she had severe eclampsia and doctors were forced to deliver the baby months early.  Baby Logan was born, a little guy around 3 pounds.  As a mother I can't fathom the fear of your newborn in a NICU,  the possibility of losing your baby, something I have seen too many friends and clients unfathomably survive, and something I knew a woman never 'gets over.'
Logan was in the NICU and due to tubes they were unable to hold him.   Paul kept us updated about his progress - jaundiced at first, but recovered, they could hold him, he pulled out his own breathing tube, starting to take a bottle, gaining weight, surviving, a little fighter already..
Paul told me this week  that baby Logan was and coming home, far before his actual 'due date'.  I welled up with tears, quickly choked them back because I am a stoic Irish Catholic New Englander, and mocked myself for turning into my eternally teary friend Jenn.  Paul rhetorically asked me "You're not used to good news, eh?"
That sentence struck me.  Wow.  So true.  My job is one of hearing tragic stories on a daily basis - hearing the dark and evil side of human nature, the randomness of tragedy, the unfairness of life.  As anyone who's read this blog knows, I had given up hope.  Owen's diagnosis combined with my job has caused me to see the world through very dark lenses.  So no, I'm not used to good news. 

I am learning to remind myself, everyday, of the everyday kindnesses, miracles, beauty and moments in life.    Try to give of myself right then, when I can, so I don't regret it later.  Remember the honor and privilege of working with clients  -  the kid who says to me "You are the only person I trust" or the adult who says "You are the first person I've ever told this to."  Say it now, don't let it fester.  Hug now. Love now. Tickle now.  Dance.  Express myself. Snuggle with my pets.  Read library books profusely.  See the beauty in two kids, squished in a recliner, sucking thumbs and watching Sesame Street.  Enjoy the beauty of a picturesque New England town while walking the dog.  Sip strong drinks with friends while waiting for appetizers.   Do my physical therapy so I can keep my own knee for another 20+ years and floss my teeth daily so they don't fall out of my head.

I got into social work to help people, only to learn I could only help people help themselves.
I got married and had children hoping to have the 'perfect family and live my dreams', only to learn life doesn't come with a guarantee and perfection doesn't exist.
But I'm not giving up the dreams...and I think good news may be knocking....

1 comment:

  1. Paul is also used to my eternal teariness :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.