Sunday, September 18, 2005

Life and Death

This is a heavy subject I know.

I am at home. I turn on NPR and they are interviewing people who had to stay at the convention center. People are telling stories of carpets slick with sewage, stampedes at night, sick, dead and dying people among the living folk, attacks on others, women howling in the foyer from giving birth in this place **. That's a first. I turned it off. I couldn't listen anymore.

Later that night walking, reading a magazine from June of last year. There is a picture of Iraqi's howling and wailing next to a very small plywood coffin. Turn the page quickly, look back, yes it's what I thought it was. keep going.

Stories of meth addict moms, images of people being killed, small babies googling in grocery carts, little children analyzing small objects, BTK man...I never really saw these things before. I never really cared I guess. Now they hit me like a ton of bricks. So hard in fact, I can't even handle it. A thought will flash through my mind to go save these people...right. Shake my finger at them? Swoop down with my cape and save the kid with the crack mom and dad? Appear in the nick of time? What am I thinking?

Then again the radio. A story about a 14 year old girl who was raped and killed, telling a story from heaven. At this point it occurs to me. Death and life go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Adeline and I go visit elderly people. We listen to them, maybe bring a few tomatoes from the garden, whatever. We just started up from not doing it since last February. In the Paris Hilton world there is nothing *hot* about it. But it makes them happy. And it is so easy to do. And when there is nothing to say, she sits there and is cute and they enjoy playing with her.

Where am I going with all these random things. I can't say entirely, but I am realising the obvious: death is a part of life. Becoming a mom has changed the way I see human life considerably. I can't go into detail except that what was mundane violence or tragedy hurts much more now. I feel like such a pansy. But especially where children are concerned, I am especially bothered. I guess I don't feel too bad to admit this, because I have spoken to friends and they report the same thing. It's just too much to bear when I see a child in a dangerous situation, my instinct is strong--I want to take them out of danger. I guess those are mom hormones, huh?

When I go visit old people, I want everyone to care about them. I want people to see them how I see them, with all the life they lived and all the intelligence they have accumulated. They are so vulnerable now. Forgotten, left. M.R. a lady I visit, she just tries to be happy with whatever God gives her, no matter how many hours and days she sits alone in her little room. B.T., she lived in Africa most her life, she died of tuberculosis before I could go visit her, just this morning in fact. So I will go see B. on Wednesday...I guess I just feel honored in a way to be able to do something these people appreciate.

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