I was talking with someone about some job prospects and realized I no longer take my identity from what I do in a work location. (Unless it might be as a parent liaison at Seattle Children's.)
We have been here too long. I have become one of those institutional person's with such a changed view of the world I can't see it any other way again. Let me out of prison and I still there.
I don't think it has helped that the web connects us in so many ways. Facebook, Caring Bridge, and the many other sites. Sites within sites. There are Facebook pages for moms and cancer moms and bone marrow pages and angel pages and.... With each new person I encounter there is a new flaring of the experience.
It rolls around in us all the time. We are walking time bombs. We are out in this vast ocean trying to make sense of all we see. Sort of like the WWII guys that never talked about what they saw.
We connect, we kvetch, we give hope, we explain how to live with no hope, we encourage, we listen, we don't listen, we confer, we keep our fears close to our hearts. We recognize a good situation and know a bad one when we see it. We try to say the right things and then hope we did. We fix a lot of tea for each other, or coffee or margaritas...
Yesterday I read a post by a mom whose little girl died about 6 months ago. Terrible battle. Terrible loss. Three years old. Mom is in so much pain. She feels the docs did not listen, that enough was not done, that she could have done something different. Her pain is so so close to the surface. She reaches out every now an then when her heart is breaking and her pain is flowing out like lava.
There is no way to help her. A few words. A few moments of thought for her. A few____. Who knows. It sometimes is okay to say a few things and make an open hearted gesture but there is no way to really take away pain from another. We all have to live with our pain and try to make it a positive part of our being. I think it is something we can do but that is what takes time. The pain never ever is gone. It is transformed. Sort of like a bullet being absorbed by bone. It is there. You can feel it, you learn to live with it.
So the web brings us the news, the good, the bad, the unsure. I am still out on whether or not it is a good thing. I do know it helps to pass on the good and the bad. The happy and the sad. It helps to know you aren't alone.
Maybe the web is a good thing.
Here is a picture of the sweet loved child I was talking about. Meet Yen..