Thursday, May 07, 2009

Other People

I think until something really life-shattering happens to us {or to someone we're close to}, we tend to look at circumstances from the vantage point of "other people". I would hear about something truly terrible on the news that happened to a family or a child and maybe gasp out a "OH! How sad!", then carry on my merry way. I would watch a Dateline special, with slight sad surprise at another family's scary circumstance, feeling an invincible distance.

That would never happen to me.

Those kinds of things only happen to other people. I may not have said it out loud, but it was definitely there. We don't think our kids will ever get abducted. We can't believe our children would be victims of a school shooting. My child be sexually abused by someone I trust? Nope. Not mine! Or perhaps it's something like your house being foreclosed on, stumbling upon your spouse's addiction, or hearing your doctor's words: it's cancer. Other people, right? The things is: it's someone's child. It's someone's family. It's someone's life that was shattered in an instant. With a phone call. When an officer showed up at their door. When a drunk driver ignored the red light. When the ultrasound tech took much longer than necessary examining your baby.

I guess I feel like that invincible distance has been taken away and the few family members I've shared this with feel the same way as well. Because of how our lives have changed, I can no longer hear things like I've mentioned and just sigh from my comfortable vantage point. Just yesterday I ran across a news story about a 33 year old woman in Texas who is the first American citizen to die from the swine flu. She was pregnant & her baby was delivered by c-section after she slipped into a coma. Judy Trunell also left behind a 4 year old daughter. And I couldn't just read that, not immediately be stopped in my tracks, and with tears in my eyes start praying for her family.

I am other people now.

9 comments:

Joan Carr said...

OH How true! We never think these things could happen to us. But the do and they are. I'm Nikki's mom from ChadandNikki blog.

Blogging helps connect people that are going through similar situations connect with one another. And knowing that you are not alone even though we know God is there makes us feel a bit better at times.

There are no words to say that can comfort you in what you and your family are going through, so I will simply say I am praying for you and your family, and that you feel Gods arms around you continually.That He will go with you where man can't go.

chadandnikki said...

I had always spoken of life's devestating situations in a "what if" attitude. Now, I have to address them in a "now what" attitude. The unthinkable has touched both of our families, and we are learning to deal with a new brand of normal. You have an amazing strength. Praying for you.

Erin said...

I am that person.

But now I wonder if it is for a different reason that I choose to "look the other way".

I am mostly a realist but I am also a pessimist.(sp?)

If Sean doesn't call...it's because he is probably dead on the side of the road.

If the car makes a noise...it is because it is going to stall out and we are going to be left stranded on the side of the road.

If I were to spot while pregnant...it would be because I was having a miscarriage.

These are all things that I have thought of. Things that haunt me. And there is no freedom in these things.

In fact when I was at your house I asked you "did you ever think something like this would happen...and how did you see it happening...in your head?" That was because, I have thought tragic events happening. I have wondered if people would even care.

So for me, the reason that I try to not imagine myself in situations like those you mentioned is because I wouldn't leave my house. I wouldn't allow my children to go to school in a public school. ,I would try to control my life even more.

Anna said...

That was one of the first things I told Jor when we heard your terrible news. It's always other people, now it's you, and it's never hit that close to home before. I'm so glad you're able to share what you are feeling and what is going on in your head. <3

Anonymous said...

Life has a habit of making itself all too real. The bad stuff somehow only happened to "other" people until now. Now I and my family are the "other" people. Today I rest in His comfort knowing that His grace is sufficient.

love, mom

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Wow, although I can't "relate" to your situation, some of those that you mentioned hit straight to my heart (and you know them), and am completely with you on how I used to view life. Makes those other people seem real when you have had the real happen, but its also easy for me to forget. Thank you for reminding me. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being real. Thank you for being you. Love you!

stephanie said...

Oh so true, I was always one of those people who thought ,"not me".I kind of had Scarlette O'Hara syndrome, "I'll think about it tomorrow". I think eventually tomorrow comes to all of us, in it's own way.I pray that whatever your tomorrow brings, your faith will be your strength, and knowing we are all out here for you will bring you comfort. I think you are truly amazing.

Holly said...

You know, I thought the same thing. It was always other people and not me. When it happens to you, it changes you forever.

Jeana said...

So beautifully said, I have joined you there and am now one of the "other people" and I'm actually grateful that my heart is more open to the pain and sadness others are going through, I feel almost guilty that I wasn't at this place before, but how could I be? I'm learning that the heart is the true teacher, it tells us things the mind could never comprehend. My heart is with you and your family.