Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Asian Angel

I'll be damned if I'm not an emotional magnet.  I must be somehow puttin' out vibes to the universe which persistently scream out this shit:

"PUH-LEEEEASE STOP ME out in public whilst I'm in the middle of livin' my life and ask me a f*ckton of questions about our girls, get ultra-personal, damn near "cross that line," and for baby Jesus' sake, BRING ME TO TEARS, you ASSHOLE, because for some reason, on SOME MF level, I NEED THAT RIGHT NOW IN MY LIFE."

WTFFFFFFFFFFF?????  (I've always wanted to use "whilst" in a sentence -- BOOM!)

OK, so here's a couple of examples, both of which occurred yesterday morning before 10:00 am...  

[Mind you, I am normally barely out of bed by this time (thank you, pseudo-angelic Lola, for keeping your dear mother up beyond 3:00 am every. single. night.  And stop already with the whoooooo-ing & hanging upside down & seeing all 20/10 in the dead of night, yo.  I got it.  You're NOCTURNAL.  Brat!  But OMFG, I love you soooo...]
Watching me, watching you

Incident #1 -- Yesterday at the health food store, I was stopped by a 60-ish, endearing Asian man while picking out baby food for Lola (who was in her infant carrier in the shopping cart at the time).  With kind eyes and a smile, he asked me if I was trying to optimize my daughter's nutrition, or something to that effect.  I explained that yes, I was trying to find some baby food for Lola that didn't have a bunch of added ingredients.  He then asked me if she had a medical condition. I attempted to explain microcephaly, cerebral palsy, & dwarfism to him (figured 3 of her diagnoses were enough to mention), which proved to be a bit of a struggle due to some language barriers at this point.  He told me that he was sorry and that he felt like this was something that I had to - or must - take care of.  He said this with sadness and pity. 

Immediately, I felt the need to correct him for feeling sorrowful, as if that was my ultimate responsibility to our girls and myself.  I explained, "The girls have blessed us very much in our lives.  They bring us SO much joy.  We are lucky to be their parents."  He said, "You have more than one child?"  I said, "Yes, we have a 13 year old typical son and an older daughter at home with the same condition who is 11.  Lola here is 6."  This gentleman repeatedly blinked his eyes hard, shook his head left to right and said, "SHE IS 6???  This is a big responsibility for you.  You have a very good attitude.  Can your other daughter walk?"  This question ALWAYS sets me off when I hear it.  I remember back to life BC (Before Claire) and seeing individuals who could not walk, and for me, that was the saddest situation EVER.  Since having the girls, I realized how little that matters in the grand scheme of things.  What matters most is TIME spent together, enjoying each present moment we are given, and having so much f*cking fun that you cannot even stand it. 

I reply, "No, she cannot walk."  He looks down at the ground and seems heartbroken.  He thinks for a moment then says, "Maybe she doesn't know she can't walk?"  I reply, "EXACTLY.  She just knows love and happiness.  Her life is filled with it."  He smiles.  He then mentions that having this occur must be similar to adopting a child – you don't know what kind of health that child will have prior to the adoption, yet you take your chance anyway.  I understand where he is coming from and indicate that the situations are quite similar, though I want nothing more than to spew honesty while possibly bursting his bubble by adding that NONE OF US are promised that everything will go "perfectly" with any baby, whether we give birth to that baby or adopt him/her into our family.  There are no guarantees, but yes, we make the choice to simply love it all with everything inside of us because regardless, they are OUR BABIES... but I decide against it mostly because I know saying this will make me cry... and as much as I want to blame the f*ckin' PMS for this sudden emotion, I cannot...

This sweet man just kept saying that this must be very hard for us, very difficult to take this on. I kept explaining that there were challenges, but that the girls were like little problems that I had the privilege of solving, but that I enjoyed it and they literally completed our lives.  He just kept telling me over and over what a great attitude that I had.  I wanted to tell him how easy it would be to succumb to the sadness and hate God and hate "THIS LIFE" and cry all the time and constantly hate on all the shitty health struggles we see with Claire & Lola because SO MANY choose that path, but that WE HAVEN'T.  We chose HAPPINESS instead.  But again, I decide against it... mostly for fear of losin' it yet again in a public place. (This is becoming my M.O., dammit.  And WHY again?!)

At the end, he even mentioned reincarnation and said that I must owe the girls BIG for something from a past life, and then he laughed.  I did too.  NO ONE had ever said anything like that to me before!  I immediately wondered if he might be right on some level.  I know it's controversial and may not line up with what everyone believes in, but I am 99.99% sure that this is the EXACT life I am supposed to be living, there are no accidents, and probably we DID choose each other long ago... (Thank you, Sam, for reinforcing that belief!)

I had so much I still needed to do that morning, but it was clear that this darling man needed to talk this out, so I let him continue.  He then mentioned traditional medicine and how that was probably not too beneficial since the girls are basically charting their own courses.  He inquired about alternative medicine, which is right up my alley.  I briefly discussed the modalities we used and how effective they are for the girls.  I thought our conversation was drawing to a close, as it had been probably 10 minutes long at this point when he looked at me with care in his eyes and said, "This is a great responsibility for you, and I am so glad that you have the strength to do it and those in your life to help support you."  Something about this honest moment, these few minutes of analysis about my life and my daughters' existence on this very day was just too much.  I am blaming the sleep deprivation and hormones for this, but once again, I started to well up.  My ability to blink away the tears & push the emotions away failed.  He could see my vulnerability, my fears, the layers of my "strength" stripped away.  

At that moment, he motioned and asked if it was okay for him to give me a hug.  Yep, there I was in the middle of the baby food aisle hugging a total stranger with tears in my eyes and emotions flooding my soul.  "Have a wonderful day," he said, as he walked away down the long aisle with his cart.  I literally put a jar back on the shelf and glanced back to see where he was -- mere seconds later -- and he was gone.  I left the store shortly thereafter myself and I never saw him again in the store nor in the parking lot.

I struggled like hell to analyze this conversation in my mind, remember all that was said, and maybe uncover the meaning behind it.  Throughout the entire discussion, I felt like I was the one educating him about this life we lead and trying to ease his mind about us being "OK" -- even HAPPY -- because as I've said before, we live in complete JOY 99% of the time in The Hooligan Household!  It wasn't until I wrote this blog that I realized maybe it wasn't ME who taught this man, but perhaps THIS MAN who taught me.

No accidents, babyyyy.  Meant.  To.  Be.

INCIDENT #2  ~  TO BE CONTINUED...

14 comments:

Kyla @ Mommys Weird said...

Bawling. Cannot wait for part #2.

Lisa Talbot said...

oh hell yeah! This is one of my favorites. Truth is I teared up reading about you tearing up but that's just besides the point. I always feel like I am "convincing" people how much joy Sweetbird brings us, yet pity in their eyes and coming from their mouths doesn't change. Sounds like this guy was exactly where he needed to be, exactly when you needed him to be there! Love ya!

Non-Girlfriend said...

This broke my heart but in a good way. Not only have you chosen this attitude about what life deals you, you spread that attitude to a total stranger who may never be the same again since he had this conversation with you.

I hope incident #2 is as touching, because people can be hurtful. I had a co-worker who lost a small child to an illness, and when she became pregnant again, some moronic asshat said to her, "Oh, you're pregnant again? Don't you have a television or something?" Cruel, hateful people out there. I'm glad you encountered this dear man. :)

P.S. Love the stories you tell about your girls!

Gwen said...

Thanks so much, Kyla. Part #2 posting Saturday. Xoxo

Gwen said...

Love u guys too, Lisa. I totally feel you ~ just wish more people would see the joy they bring us vs. assuming we are all miserable and resentful of these precious kiddos we have been given. Xoxo

Gwen said...

@Non-Girlfriend - Thank you so much for your always kind responses. You know I love you, right?!?! You make me smiiiiiile. :)

Ps - I totally would have sack-tapped that asshat for that comment. What a dick!!!!!! People can be so rude.

Xo

Elyse said...

Not a creeper here, found you through Strawberrycam on twitter. This story is so personal on so many levels. I work with special Ed kids and I truly fit in with them more than the regular Ed kids. I see life as a gift no matter the difficulty or diagnosis. No matter what is on the outside, the gift is in a heart.

People don't always say the right thing but you handled that situation perfectly. I hope that one day I can be as calm and collected with a man about the difficulties I face and/or why my brother is different.

Can't wait to read the next incident!

kathrynemcnichols said...

Amazing. As always!! <3

Pamela said...

Reading this balling my eyes out, I admire your attitude and like you said, all the girls know is love and happiness. Really enjoy your blog.

Gwen said...

Ha - creep away, Elyse!!!! LOL (PS - Elise is Claire's middle name. :)

Could not agree more with what you said... Life is a gift & I believe heart matters most too.

Looking back, I am mad at myself that the first probably 75% of my conversation with this man felt "annoying" to me. I need to be more aware of the world's gifts to me as well, not always wrapped in the packages I expect. :)

Hugs to you!!!!

Gwen said...

Love you, Kath!!!!!! Xoxoxoxo

Gwen said...

Pamela - thanks so much for reading. Appreciate the love!!! Xo

DoRe' said...

Dude. It's not cool to make Hawaiians cry. :-9

Love this. ♥

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

So beautiful, Gwen! Bless you for your patience with him. He was surely trying to be kind.

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