Friday, April 19, 2013

An agnostic mother's response to tragedy in the world today.

Last night, as I was laying next to my 6 1/2 year old sleeping son, I was thinking about this world that my husband and I have brought 3 children into.  I was thinking about the fact that the "right" answer to my fear is I'm adding loving kindness into the world in three human forms and that is the reason why I should choose to be positive.  But, since he was asleep, and looking so completely peaceful and innocent, I was not easily finding the right answer to be comforting.  I was sad.  I was sad because I was thinking about the parents who lost their kids to a school shooting in CT.  And I was said because of the boy who died at the Boston Marathon.  And I was said because in the future the unknown is going to happen and whatever does happen, my kids, randomly could be the victims.  Will all three of my kids make it through life?  Will I?  Will we all survive and not get cancer?  Will we all survive and not be harmed by terrorists?  Will each of the 5 of us in this little family unit live to the ripe old age of 90 and die blissfully in our sleep?

How do I love fearlessly when I am so fearful? 

So, I'm laying there snuggled up in bed with my son and the covers are around us and I am still shivering.  Clearly warm and cozy, he doesn't move an inch.  And I have this metaphor in my mind.  If I believed that God exists, and he 'works in mysterious ways' and he will someday take my soul to a heavenly kingdom in the sky, where I will be reunited with my loved ones and live eternally with them for the rest of eternity without ever having to fear any possibility of hurt/pain/loss entering my life, I would be so warm.  I think, if I REALLY really bought that, what would that be like?  And I thought, that would be so warm.  Like a big soft down comforter taken out of the dryer on top of me, a downy pillow of just the right plumpness under my head.

It's just that, the blanket I have is not all that warm.  It's scratchy.  It's lumpy.  It's still a little wet from the rinse cycle.  And try as I might, my feet always stick out the bottom.  I don't have "that" warmth.  And this helps me to really understand why people believe.  Because, you know what, if you can buy it, that this sub-reality is real...that this paranormal existential plane of "heaven" and "God" exists...then good for you.  I bet that feels warm.

I need warmth like that on nights like this.  I cried myself to sleep next to my big baby boy.  And I thought about all the ways that I could try and make each day more intentional.  More present.  More grateful.  Because I know that life is random.  And by chance, people I love will be victims of malevolence, or cancer, or car crashes, or ....  but all I can REALLY do about it is to not place energy into the possible/probable/maybe but instead place energy into THIS moment.  So, I pulled myself into my senses and I gazed at my son and I burned his face into my mind's eye and I smelled his head and I clicked the camera in my brain over and over again to hang out tight to the here and now.

What else can I really do?

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