Friday, January 18, 2013
The Greatest Thing
Two e-mails in one week put me on top of the world for a moment. The first arrived in my inbox on Monday and came from the Deacon's wife, asking me to consider taking her place on the Board of Directors of the Right to Life of Kern County. My experience with Gabriel would be invaluable to the organization.
The second e-mail led to a telephone conversation between me and the faculty coach for West High's mock trial team. I judged their round on Wednesday night and e-mailed the coach for each team the pages of detailed notes that I took, along with some pointers. West High's coach asked me to be his team's attorney coach next fall. My experience as a mock trial competitor, also from an "inner-city" high school (the first time I have ever heard either East High or West High so called) would inspire this young team of mostly Hispanic girls. I would be a good role model.
I'm a role model, or at least a couple of people think so. I didn't really set out to be, and don't really think I should be, but I suppose we don't really decide these things for ourselves.
People tell me that I'm strong, but I don't feel strong. When I examine my life I know that I should be happy. I am happy. As I type I'm in my parents' living room, watching one of our favorite television shows as a family. I've got an invitation from friends to join them for a night out, but I've decided instead to go home for a quiet evening with my dogs because I've had a long day at a job that I love because I had the privilege of going to law school. I have a good life.
This week I commemorated what would have been my three year wedding anniversay - and I guess, still is - by checking the status of my divorce proceedings online. I can't help but feel like the very opposite of a role model; I feel like a failure. And I can't help but feel angry and hurt when others are happy. It seems everyone around me is in love, and happily breeding away, while longing and resentment fester deep inside of me. I have so much, but I want more. I want it all. I want to be in love again. I want another child. I want to feel again like I felt when I did have it all. That brief, shining moment when I was carrying and caring for Gabriel was the greatest thing I ever did, and the greatest I ever was. I never mattered more, and I haven't mattered so much since. Three years ago, all that matters to me was in my foreseeable future. Two years ago, my family was happily in tact, blissfully unaware of the fatal defect that would claim our growing, unborn baby's life. One year ago I was still desparately clinging to the last shreds of a quickly fading hope. Today, though my life is brimming with wonderful things, something - some things - are still missing. My child is still missing. My rainbow is still missing.
I wasn't sure until this evening if I would accept either position. I wish I could say that my decision tonight to accept both positions was made because I want to help. If I help anyone it will just be incidental because my true motivation is how nice it feels to be wanted and needed. I miss being wanted by a man who loves me. I miss being needed by a child who I loved to serve. If I am strong it is only because I can admit that I am weak with desire to love and be loved.