Sunday, March 13, 2011
On Being Human
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm learning life isn't always about being in control, or feeling happy, or "doing good." I think what I'm saying is that, as Amy and I prepare for what the future brings (and because we're acutely aware of how finite Gabrielle's future is and are learning to enjoy the ups and work through the downs because we don't want to waste much time wallowing in sorrow), we're experiencing a whole new spectrum of thoughts and feelings that have made us ... well ... more human.
I wouldn't ever wish this ordeal - or any adversity, for that matter - on anyone. It truly is a 10/10 on the suck-o-meter. But in reading everyone's wonderful comments, letters, and emails; and in receiving all the cards, gifts, and dinners (oh man, I love the dinners!); it just makes me realize how human we all are, and how wrong our culture is. It makes me think of all the losses and heartbreaks and trials and tribulations that our prehistoric ancestors endured: living in caves, crossing oceans, settling new lands, hunting, gathering, and trying to keep one another alive. It makes me marvel at how they just had to be there for each other when things got bad, or really bad ... and how fully human they must have lived their lives.
And I think of how disconnected we all are from each other, and how our cultural values of perfection and happiness are so one-dimensional with respect to the complete human spectrum of experience. This is understandable, of course, because what I'm talking about is living through hardship and adversity, things no one wants (I don't), and our science, medicine, and technology do a good job of preventing them from occurring.
But our family's hardship - our darling Gabrielle - has helped me realize how incredibly "human" people are capable of being. And it's a pretty marvelous thing.