Friday, February 28, 2014

But For the Rain

It's 1:30 P.M. on a Friday afternoon, and I've finally torn open the box of Thin Mints that has been sitting on my desk since Monday. Although I've opened two other packages earlier in the week I am still proud of the resistance I've shown. Once the Thin Mints are open, they may as well be written off. They won't last long from here. I imagine they won't see 5:00.

My afternoon deposition was cancelled, to my relief, but the medical records from the case are still open before me on my desk, along with Wikipedia tabs for the entries on "compartment syndrome" and "fasciotomy." The applicant that I was supposed to depose today had a severe accident and sustained nerve injury that resulted in loss of function of his left arm. The medicals are peppered with discussion of amputation. The applicant isn't even 30 years old.

In my mind, I know this guy has it bad and I'm sorry for him, but in my heart I'm struggling to care much today. It's just one of those days.

Maybe it's the way the sky keeps taunting me. This morning there was rain but by the time I got to the office it had stopped, and when I left for lunch only a few tell-tale puddles remained glistening in the sun, which had broken through the clouds to make an appearance. But before I finished my lunch the clouds had opened up again, emptying the much-needed rain into our valley, giving local farmers a taste of liquid hope.

I hadn't worn a sweater and was shieled from the rain only by a thin jersey-knit dress and a pair of maternity panty hose hiked up over my belly. I sloshed through the water, grateful for the height on my patent leather heels, back to my car. I abandoned the errand I intended to run on my lunch hour and instead darted straight back to the office.

Here I sit. Half a roll of Thin Mints down. Outside the sky is dark but still and for the moment, the rain seems to have passed. And as I sit, I wonder what's really so very bad about the rain. I wonder why a little cold should necessitate a cookie binge, when somewhere out there a young man is learning to live without his left arm and I am typing this blog, able-bodied.

When you take a step back it becomes a little easier to acknowledge that every storm will pass. Every storm, every rain, every flood is just temporary.

But when you're standing in it, when the water is seeping through to your bones, when you're cloaked in the rain and you can't dodge the storm you are simply helpless. You are exposed and vulnerable and you ache and you feel anything but cleansed by the showers falling from the sky and though you know you'll find shelter eventually, as you're standing in it you know that you are stuck just having to wade your way through.

As I look past my little boy's picture this afternoon through the windows at the dark sky, I know that I will have to brave the weather again. I know that the time will come today when I will have to leave my office, and when I do it will likely be raining outside. Right now, Rocco is moving inside of me, content with lunch and cookies having been delivered to him or her. I love Rocco so much, so very much. Still, I love Gabriel too, from the bottom of my aching heart. The longing Gabriel is ever-present, even while I press myself into any shelter I can find, always threatening to storm and flood my world again.

There is no rainbow, but for the rain.

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