• Posted: Dec 18, 2011 14:13:00
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The lady heard gun shots coming from behind her house. She ran to the back room. There, across the backyard was her neighbor, standing over her baby lying on the lawn as if it had been dropped. The lady went cautiously out the back door and said, "Is everything all right?" The neighbor looked up and said, "No, it isn't.", then raised a gun, and shot the baby dead. That story from an Associated Press article published just last night. The distraught neighbor had only minutes earlier shot and killed her two grade school children as they came in the front door from getting off the school bus to begin Christmas break. She'd then shot her boyfriend, the baby, and finally herself.
Another story from the AP earlier this week described people bursting into tears of relief and gratitude upon learning a "secret Santa" had benevolently paid off the balances on their Kmart Christmas layaways. But a friend, upon reading that story, broke down in tears of her own, remembering all those worrying feelings of doubt and inadequacy, shame and embarrassment, standing in line with her mother long long ago to pay $5 a week on their Christmas layaways, feelings made excruciatingly more poignant in that, only this week, her ailing mother had been moved to hospice where she is not expected to survive much past Christmas.
A second friend this week described watching her eight year old granddaughter beginning her competitive uneven parallel bar routine with characteristic grit and determination only to slip and fall to the mat as she began, not only once, but exactly the same way a second time. Embarrassed beyond comprehension, still, she pressed on a third time. And this time, she completed the entire routine flawlessly, only to leave the mat bursting into tears, sobbing uncontrollably.
We all have such high expectations for ourselves. Satisfaction does not come easy. And sometimes, disappointment is entirely overwhelming.
There is no cure for being human, for feeling the feelings that we do, for suffering the consequences that we do. There is only some comfort in opportunity to share our grief with another and plan another try.
May insight come to you this season of expectation. And, may peace and warmth, good cheer and satisfaction, however meager, attend upon you.
Monday, December 12th, 2011
7.4 mm 35 mm