My friend J. has a blog about the serious illness of her baby, Ramona Mae.  If you click and go and read about their situation and forget you ever, ever saw my blog that is fine with me, since my problems are so small and whiny compared to theirs.  (I do pop the "about_blank" tag into my hyperlinks to help you come back, though).  Anyway, I can’t claim close friendship with J. but I am in deep admiration of her and the way she’s "processing" this difficult time.  She struck a chord with me on her "guide to grieving" post because something that bugs her bugs me too.  Actually, hurts a lot, is what I meant to say, at least about myself.  Specifically the thing that rang me like a bell was her dislike of when people say "I just know Ramona is going to be fine."

Aside from the "just knowing," which might sound a teensy bit smug or red-phone-to-God, the thing that I resonate with is the "hurry up and feel better."  Let me just say I know people want to help, want me to feel better.  But sometimes that’s the problem.  Anybody can hang with me when I feel fine.  What I need is to know that you can stick around when I don’t feel fine.  Sometimes well-meaning friends (and family, oh yes) want me to feel better so badly that they try and skip me ahead to the happy ending, the understanding of what God was doing, the blessing.  They Tivo how I’m feeling now, let’s skip over the icky part, so we can all get to the good part together.

I got Tivo’ed the other day.  In trying to ? give me some perspective, maybe reassure me ? a friend wanted to remind me that "God is faithful" and that my present stress will soon be just a bump in the road.   Right now my stress is not a bump.  It is not sleeping, not being sure if 14 months and $18,000 are about to be completely wasted, having a skinful of drugs that I do not like, trying to negotiate legal matters with doctors, and medical matters with lawyers, entrusting the fragile thread of my family’s future to a 22-year-old I have never met, and trying to protect my own interests against an agency, in a different state, which seems to be in business for the exclusive purpose of ripping us off.   Never mind the existing what-if-the-IVF-doesn’t-work fear, beautifully balanced with the what-if-it-does, also fear. 

While someday we may look nostalgically back down the road and distance will smooth out the bumps, they’re not a cozy metaphor right now: they are my life.  Someday we’ll all look back on this and laugh / thank God / feel blessed.  But today I am crying.  Please be with me today.  Don’t Tivo me.

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