Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Heartbreak and joy

The father of one of my childhood friends from the dusty Small Town in the Free State fell down a flight of stairs yesterday and died. He was a wonderful, caring man who was always kind and gentle. He reminded me of Father Christmas. I am so very sad for them all. A reminder, again, of how fragile we all are.

My mother’s call to tell me this came after a morning of sinking feelings as Real Work dealt call after call of horrible, suffering-filled stories, mostly involving children. My heart breaks a little more with each one I deal with and, on one hand, I long to run away and leave it all behind where I can’t see it. Then I remember the man I spoke about above, and the good he did and force myself to be grateful that I can do something, despite having to hear it tearing me apart. Over and over.

And then I am constantly reminded of the whole cycle – my beloved friend, Pop, halfway through chemo, doing so well, pushing through. She is beautiful in her hairlessness, she seemed almost translucent when I went to take her some trashy reading yesterday while she sat, looking small, in the big Lazy Boy, the chemo dripping into her veins, chasing that monster away.

Another friend is in labour as we speak, her baby boy being oh-so-comfortable still, having waited over a week past his due date to start making moves towards joining us here in The Big Wide World. I am sure the wonderful man’s spirit is watching it all from above, smiling and also feeling the joy of the circle of life. Here’s wishing that little boy a safe ride in (and his mum a not-too-painful delivery of him, it’s been almost 24 hours of labour already!)

To heartbreak and joyousness and the celebration of life and my managing to keep my head above water.


Mud in the City said...

The cycle of life - but a pretty brutal view. Thoughts with you and Tam.

Angela said...

Oh God, 24 hours? It must be very comfortable where he is! All my best wishes to mom and child.

And yes, Shiny, it is so sad to see someone we love passing, but we who are still here should do what we can, and I know you try your best.
Love to all of you down there!

allie said...

I often wish I didn't have to see suffering everywhere because I can't fix it and that makes me desperate, and frustrated and cowardly.
Well done to you for doing what you can.
I salute you.

Shiny said...

Thank you, all, it's wonderful news about the new baby boy, Tam's a real warrior woman... 36 hours of labour - phew!