One detail. One day.

Warning: Rambling 1 am blog.

Tonight I was asked what I thought of the movie I had just seen. Normally, I would respond that I liked, disliked, and my favorite or most disturbing parts of the plot line. Tonight I was left with uncertainties, questions – these only led to more thoughts that just jumbled with the stew of unrest already occurring in my brain.

One instance changes everything. For me, it seemed to be the big death bowling ball that knocked all my pins over. But when I break it all down, to the minuteness of detail it is more than death-it’s the thing that brought death to my husband. It’s the person he met and the flirtation that they beheld leaves them signing divorce papers. It was the spark that made a flame that leaves a man in a hospital.

Certain things bring people to this point. Simplisticly reviewing the situations leads me to know that despite all that, it was one little tiny thing that started it all. My life could be where it is now simply because of a deformed genetic cell. Their divorce paper could be due to that one heated glance. The fire could have started from one tiny spark. Break it down, and life’s destruction, and new beginning, starts with only one little thing.

I am not so stupid as to know that many situations are much more complicated, but are they really? Do we just overcomplicate them by excusing things or trying to find some deep seated root when it could be just that little thing? What brought us here, me here?

The thought overwhelms me, and the fact that it’s 1:18 am I am sure is of no help to anyone. The past weeks’ tragedies here in Lancaster, all so very different, make me wish there was something I could do for everyone. I feel completely helpless by these situations. What can I do?

Instead of focusing on one cause, such as widowhood, or sarcoma, maybe I am missing my mark altogether. I want to help everyone in all situations, but really, much of it comes with knowing the helplessness that others feel when that spark ruins their life, and now they are thrown into a complete whirlwind of new life. There is no footing, only drowning in it. I know this feeling-this feeling is what destroyed me above all things. The swallowing of me.

First steps. Day one. Those first minutes after life has completely turned end over end, and you may not have a place to stay, you may have no access to funds, no clothes, no phone, no SECURITY. You break it down to the woulda coulda shouldas and what should have been in place, but in situations like these, privilege and planning make all the difference. What if someone could help you when you have no privilege, no planning, when all you have is yourself, left completely empty handed?

You left your husband because he cheated. Just for one night, you need somewhere to sleep, somewhere you don’t have to answer to questions. You need a motel room for the night, but you don’t have the funds, etc.

Your husband has just been rushed to the hospital and is on life support in another town. You need to be there, but have no place to lay your head that night, and no funds. You know no one in the town. You are alone.

Your home has just burnt to the ground, all your belongings down to your ID are singed. Where do you go.

First steps. Day one. Where is the help you need in those first few hours? Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but taking all specifics out, such as places like the American Red Cross helping in disaster relief, Ronald McDonald house giving parents accommodations while their sick children are being attended – take away those planning, privilege and specifications. Is there a place for everyone regardless of all? I cannot think of one.

Maybe there should be one, for when those minute details occur, and we’re left standing there, helpless, so very alone. I don’t want anyone to feel that loneliness-I would not wish that feeling on anyone. It is far too painful to recall myself.

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Comments 2

  1. Great blog, great questions, more people should be asking them.

  2. Brenda,
    It’s still a wonder to me when others come to the same conclusion I have. Losing loved ones, especially at a young age I think forces you to consider life in a new way. As we tell the survivors of any loss you will awaken to a “new normal”, life will never be the same as it was before the loss. Those that lose a close loved one it’s much the same as those that have had a major fire. A fire consumes all that was the past and there needs to be a rebuilding with all new. Divorce is much like this too and I don’t think people realize they need a grieving period for the relationship and all the hopes/dreams tied up in that.

    It was quite a few years ago now that I began to think about how I came about to be where I am today. There are so many tiny decisions that brought me here. Those we pass over and make every day. The “major” decisions seem small in comparison to those small steps that brought me in this direction. You’re absolutely right about one tiny event catapulting people in a certain direction, but it’s also all those small decisions afterwards that continue us down that path. We need to embrace the path we’ve been taken and if we are unhappy with where we are we need to start taking little steps in another direction and soon we will find ourselves somewhere else entirely.

    In my story, my children wouldn’t be alive if it hadn’t been for many different little factors coming together but most of all if it hadn’t been for two tiny little cells finding each other in a dark and hostile place. As someone that struggled with infertility, this little miracle of two single cells coming together has meant everything to me. So while they can bring life, they too can bring death and this is never off my mind. Life is both resilient/hardy and fragile. This duality is what makes it so amazing. I think it’s important to remember that sometimes there is no reason for what happens. It just does. For example, a few weeks ago a little 4 or 5 year old Amish boy died by drowning in a manure pit. I searched for meaning in that and couldn’t find one. Life is precarious and uncertain and I think in our modern world of convenience, comfort and medical care we forget that.

    Any one of us is one tragic event from homelessness and devastation which is why I pay it forward. If you want to help those around us that are going through tough times, you could volunteer at the suicide hotline/CONTACT (helpline). They always need volunteers and I’ve spoken with many people that are grateful for the service they provide.

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