Operation Caffeination

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Written on June 27, 2011, when Melia was 5 days old and lethargic from jaundice.


This hard. Hard because in order to abdicate myself from responsibility for Really Bad Things, I have to also admit to myself that I am vulnerable; I have the least control over the areas of my life where I would most like to have it. That is scary. It is scary to see my lovely little girl suffering and be able to do so little to help her; it is scary to watch and feel the feelings of resentment and displacement my little boy is experiencing and be unable to relieve him. It is scary to know that my children could be raped, I could die and leave them alone in the world, the planet could explode and I would be helpless.

1 out of every 8 people in Ireland died during the potato famine; essentially every family lost a precious, beloved family member, a person they needed and longed for and dreamed about, and no one could stop it from happening. This is a horrifying reality, one that is very hard to live with. It feels unbelievably irresponsible for me to bring children into the world just to satisfy my own desire for children when I have so little protection to offer them against the brutality of nature.

On the other hand, while I may lack control over the elements, I am not helpless. I can make choices and respond to change. I can choose who will and will not hold places of prominence in my life. I know myself so much better than I did before I had Darren and Melia; I am at a much healthier place now mentally as well, and I am better prepared now not only to serve them, but also to serve myself.

I do not believe that everything happens for a reason; bad things happen to innocent babies, young mothers giving birth to their children, old women preparing for their final rest. Horror is a very real part of our existence. However, we are free agents within the context of our own lives and do not have to remain suspended in an intolerable mental state. I can’t predict, control or judge, but I can dance. I can improvise, alter my course and change directions whenever I chose. It may be hard to accept a reality where God and Fate are not here to protect me from tragedy, but it is nice to know that I can’t be singled out for divine retribution, either. I do not need to tolerate pain on the off chance that it may be a sign from God, intended to teach me a lesson. I can chase after my own happiness, joys and passions enthusiastically, without guilt or fear.

Melia will recover from this jaundice, just like I recovered from the trauma that surrounded Darren’s birth. I needed her to help me on that path to recovery, just as she needs me now. We can do this, together. We may not be able to inoculate ourselves against sorrow, but we can share a warm blanket together and fall asleep in one another’s arms. We will all find ways to help each other live.

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Written by GRSeim

September 6, 2011 at 4:58 am

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