a boy and a girl and a cat and 5 fish...8 fish...7 fish

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I wish it need not have happened...

"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.

"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

-- The Lord of the Rings, Book 1, Chapter 2

Processing the situation that we have found ourselves in, it is so natural to be like little Frodo.  Shaking our fists at the heavens and yelling why.  Like Job we gladly accept the blessings and reject what seem like curses.  

Why does Hannah have this genetic disorder that undermines that primitive and basic drive to breath in life.  Why does my little girl have to face life with this hurdle.  Why do I, as her parent and co-carer, have to take this difficult road.  Rushing like mad from the hospital to make it home in time to see Matthew wake up and to get him off to school I was thinking dark and angry thoughts about the yoke my family has and about the challenge that it has been to Bonnie - to Matthew - to Hannah - to me.  

I am not an emotive sort of fellow, but I realized I am shaking my fist at the heavens and screaming why... in my own way.  I am angry at God and resent the panic and fear that surfaces when I see Hannah struggle for breath.

As I was driving Matthew to school, he was weepy about us not having been there for him and he said that he was jealous of Hannah because of the extra attention that she gets when she is sick and all the time.  Now, from multiple sources, I know he had a blast the night before with my mom keeping him for us, but his sentiment is valid and resonated with where I was too.

It a moment of grace and clarity, God gave me something for him.  Matthew and I have been in the world of J.R.R Tolkien since he was three years old.  First through vague storytelling, then through more detailed oral versions, and finally starting this year through the original novels.  We recently started the Return of the King, the last book.  He loves Gandalf.

We don’t get to choose what challenges we will face in life.  Some will be avoidable and some will not.  Some will be results of bad decisions and some will be no one’s fault.  The ring passed on to Frodo, not choice or any fault of his own.  He had to decide what to do with his challenge. He rose to the challenge and surprised the wisest and bravest in middle earth by taking the difficult path because it was the right thing-- the only thing-- for him to do.

We didn’t choose for Hannah to need to wear a mask (a representation of her disease).  We didn’t have a choice and it isn’t anyone's fault.  Now, like Frodo, we have a journey to make together.  It’s the right thing and the only thing to do.  And we have to do it together... all of us.  It is OK to not like it-- Frodo didn’t-- and it normal to be scared, sad, or angry.  But it isn’t anyone’s fault -- certainly not Hannah’s or yours.

Thanks Gandalf


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