There is no other way to say this but no one has it good. In the day and age of social media over load, it may seem that all people do is be happy and make merry. What we don’t share is our daily lives, with its struggles and uncertainties. What doesn’t come through those filters are our insecurities and our fears.
A month ago, my Facebook feed was flooded with R.I.P messages for a young man I met around 9 years ago. He was almost a decade younger than me in college and very shy. I met him and his sister during their spring break. Two typical brown kids in the United States. It was easy for them to see that I understood their very brown parents better than they themselves did and we bonded right away. That level of understanding-misunderstanding made us laugh, talk into the night, and share a closeness I would never encounter again. I never even met the two kids again apart from the occasional interactions via Facebook. And so when I learned of his death I reached out to the sister and parents. The devastation caused by the loss of this young brilliant warm affection human being has touched me as well. One can only imagine what people close to him feel. There is an outpouring of messages on Facebook for this young man even today, a month after his passing.
Last Saturday I was woken up by a frenzy of text messages from my co-worker. His 72 year old ex-military healthy father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on his first visit to the ER in 30 years. How does one even come to grapple with news like that. There is no cure, there is no hope. What do you tell your family when they look to your for some rationalizing of the impossible. For advise. I can only imagine what my co-worker is going through. He is the youngest of 7 siblings. Being the only physician in the family he is going to have to suck away the last rays of hope this family has at helping their father.
I can go on and on. One may feel that god gives different share of happiness to everyone, but let me assure you, there is equal amount of crap in every ones life that they need to deal with. We didn’t get pregnant with the last IVF cycle. Rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we are compelled to counting our blessings when we see all the misery around us. I am not even going to get into the misery that is our government, the wars, the famine, the treatable infectious diseases that plague our society. We are even losing our basic sense of decency and respect. I am shattered today for more than one reason. My hope for me, my family and the rest of the world is that despite all the craziness in the world, we can all find some peace!
Filed under Abstract, Always one step behind, Attitude, Bonding, Camaraderie, Challenges, Communication, Condolences, Conversations, Death, Disappointments, Emotions, Experiences, Friendship, Hope, Life, Living my life, Pain, People, Personal, Pregnancy, Relationships, Society, Thoughts, Wishes
Being born in a very modest salaried family I was raised in a one bedroom apartment. Love, respect, freedom, consideration, compassion and tolerance are some of the values I learned there. I may not have had much else, but love and respect were abound.
My father was the sole earner for the longest time. He would leave a set amount of cash in a common place where my mother knew she could pick up money for herself; as and when she needed it. No questions asked.
As a young child, I always considered it an endearing arrangement between my parents. I revered my father for the respect and freedom he ensured my mother received. My mother never felt the deprivation, control, lack of self respect that comes with lack of an income. Her economic empowerment at at time that she made no money, was inspiring.
When I got married, I wanted a set amount of money to be put aside for me naturally. I used to call it “pocket money”. Times had changed, credit cards were the way to go, my then new husband said to me. He abhorred the idea of pocket money, but instead gave me 3 credit cards to use. Of course I was taken aback. I didn’t want to feel like I had to explain the money I would like to spend on me.
I could spend whatever money I wanted to, he would often reassure me. Instead I felt like I was being controlled. I couldn’t wait to get my “own money” to feel the same love and freedom my mother enjoyed so many years ago.
My “own money” didn’t come for the longest time. Graduate school and medical residency lends itself to school loans and large credit card bills, not an income. So where does that leave me. Still no pocket money, instead 3 credit cards to my name and a not so new husband taking care of me and all of my expenses.
Only recently was I listening to a documentary on the plight of women in some societies. Rich husbands who would provide an “allowance” to their wives. In a society which does not invest in its women to educate them which could then translate to empowerment seems unreal. But it isn’t. As I was listening to this documentary with my blood boiling to all degrees of fury, I was reminded of my own equation with my husband.
He never once bought into the whole “pocket money”/ “allowance” business despite my several protests. And though there was a lack of that second paycheck he always treated me as an equal. It has only taken me 9 years of being married to finally appreciate this level of respect and love. It is true, they don’t make ’em like that any more. 🙂
Filed under Always one step behind, Attitude, Experiences, Hope, Life, Marriage, Men, musings, partner, People, Personal, Relationships, Society, Thoughts, Truth
It is bloody hard!
Fall has been one of my favorite seasons for the longest time. As the winds get a bit cooler, the leaves change color, and pumpkins spring up everywhere I have always felt the promise of friends, fun, celebrations, food, wine and cake. So many birthdays in fall, would make me so happy.
This year has been different.
As the winds get a bit cooler, the leaves change color, and pumpkins spring up every where I am reminded of the loss I have experienced in my favorite time of the year. It is bloody hard to get excited about life.
Perhaps life wanted to sober me up. Even though I have the ability to get fully excited about fall, I am reminded that many people around me are dealing with terrible life experiences. As you know life happens to everyone.
So while I stand in solidarity with everyone who is also experiencing my struggle, I have decided I stand up tall and enjoy Fall!
Filed under Abstract, Attitude, Bonding, Camaraderie, Celebration, Challenges, Communication, Condolences, Decisions, Determination, Emotions, Experiences, Goal, Hope, Life, Loss, Motivation, Pain, Personal, Priorities, Relationships, Thoughts, Wishes
She is a mother of 7 and younger. She is much older and yearns to have.
She is religious and conservative. She is spiritual and a liberal.
She believes she is superior. She believes in no such thing.
She hopes. She awaits.
She has settled. She continues the search.
She is wise. She is learned
She is conflicted. She is the conflict.
They make the most unlikely of friendships.
Filed under Abstract, Bonding, Camaraderie, Conversations, Emotions, Experiences, Friends, Friendship, Hope, Life, Living my life, People, Relationships, Society, Thoughts
I called it friendship. You called it a favor. We both knew it was much more. Only you knew it was wrong. I took my heartbreak and left. It wasn’t forever as you have come back into my life. Only to break my heart again.
Filed under Conversations, Disappointments, Emotions, Friendship, Hope, Life, Love hurts, Men, Pain, People, Personal, Relationships, Sad, Short, Society, Thoughts
And we lose yet another family member. Of the three son-in-laws my grandfather had, none remain. I was particularly close to this one. Even called him papa at one time. His departure hits very close to home for more reasons than one. His wife was like a mother to my mother more than a sister. He never shied away from his own imposed responsibility even though she left us so many years ago. I truly hope he has joined his wife and are now giving my father great company. He was rather fond of them.
If for a minute people could let their egos aside, so much can be achieved. Working in a small, confined, secure group felt like the perfect place to get some good done! But that is not to be. We spend more time pacifying egos and catering to imaginary hierarchy than actually forging ahead with great ideas and hopeful hearts.
My father had the unique ability to always see the best in every situation. While I have struggled to see anything good in our current situation, I finally see the light. I see people coming together for a common cause. I see women standing up for other women. I see people being alert, taking responsibility and having a voice. And I see hope. How can I not, when people are coming together in this divided world, even if it is because of all the wrong reasons!
Filed under A first, Challenges, Decisions, Emotions, Environment, Hope, Life, Loss, Pain, People, Personal, Sad, Society, Thoughts
Papa, “I don’t think people like me”, I said one day. I was just stating an observation. “Why would you say that”, he asked. People tease me in school. They make fun of my hair and my round face. They call me names. He smiled, and he asked me, ” Are you sure they don’t like you?” He said no more.
No I wasn’t sure that they didn’t like me. So I told myself if they were talking to me, teasing me-yeah semantics they must actually like me. I learned to laugh off the unwanted attention.
For the longest time, I thought my father had ruined my perception of people’s reaction to me. I read people wrong. Perhaps I do. But what he did right was instill a level of confidence in my self-worth and my own being. Nothing anyone says, can instill any doubts in me about myself.
Thank you, papa.
Now only if people who retorted to this New York times article could have been more proud of their own achievements, than belittle it by being “offended” by a cartoonist.
Filed under Abstract, Attitude, Communication, Confusion, Conversations, Doubts, Emotions, Experiences, Hope, Humor, Inspiration, Life, musings, Philosophy