Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bad bitter

In addition to packing up all my belonging to put in storage until my new home gets built, I am trying to read all the America magazines lying around my condo. I don't want to bring them with me because I will be living at home and Mom gets the magazine, too, also because it is embarrassing to have magazines from two years ago that I haven't read. I like some of the articles in the Jesuit magazine. (Jesuits are the Society of Jesus, a group of Catholic priests. In reference to The DaVinci code, a friend described them as the "good guys"; he meant the book, but it holds for the religion in general, I think.)

Unfortunately, some of the articles leave me thinking "Well, yeah, that's great; if your life is perfect! Where do you get off telling me anything!"

For instance, I just read a column called "Remembering a Darker Christmas Story, 'In the groanings of the night, our challenge is to follow the light'" By Maryann Cusimano Love. I told you I was behind in my reading. It includes this line: "Despair is easy; hope is hard." She is right, of course; hope is a constant struggle in this world of fighting and starvation and disease and sadness. And she talks of finding God in all things, which I am less sure of. If I find God in anything to do with my disability, I will be pissed no end because I have spent the last umpteen years trying to convince myself that God has nothing to do with my disability, that it is not part of God's plan.

But here is my real problem: She was apparently reminded of how hard hope is when her 4-year-old daughter spent the night barfing and she could not fix it. Wait, let me get out my violin.

Try following the light when your body or your child's is ravaged by a disability most people have never even heard of. Or when your 30-something disabled child spends the night throwing up and calls you in the morning to please come over and help him (this happened a few years ago; I am fine at the moment).

The writer doesn't know hard, I think, and I hate that thought. That is the bad bitter.

I know that people who are disabled or who suffer mightily in some other way are not the only ones with wisdom to share. Sometimes I just find it hard to listen to others go on about how hard it is not to despair. Tell me something I don't know. Maybe the writer does have a major disability, of course, and did not mention it. I know I have written that I wouldn't do this if friends wanted to vent their frustration on me, and I wouldn't – they aren't writing in national religious magazines.

I honestly don't know what the answer is. I even went for a walk with Claren and we tried without success to figure it out. All we could come up with is asking Mom to subscribe me to a different magazine. I would not have these issues with Playboy.


Anonymous said...

sometimes the bitter kind of bitter is just going to have to be expressed. but you are right. we love you nonetheless and perhaps themore becuase you are real.

Matt said...

Thanks. Sadly, Mom said no even though I was being real.

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