July 27, 2010

Hearts of Stone Need Not Attend

"For Jessica" -- Easily the most moving, terrible, and wonderful essay on the whole world wide web today. Something rare and something of great power. Count -- I say -- Count. Your. Blessings. Then read it all and count them again.

The sky has fallen down many times in your daughter's short life, the sky with all the stars in it, and you have picked up the pieces more times than you can remember, and you have climbed the ladder and put them back in place, where you think they should go, and you get things in backwards and out of sequence, but you do the best you can, and you climb down off the ladder, and you're at peace with your work. You wish it could be better, but there's only one of you, and the sky is so vast, it takes a while to put it back together again, and you did the best you could. -- For Jessica @ Finding Your Voice

[HT to Ted for telling me about it.]

Posted by Vanderleun at July 27, 2010 10:20 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

My husband's old (female) friend from the Academy is in a similar situation.

She graduated a year after my husband (Mariners); spent a few years on merchant ships; earned her MBA at Cornell; brilliant woman...

Got pregnant ten years ago... and delivered a Preemie (with a capital P). Her doctor said that if she didn't deliver at six months because of eclampsia, both she and baby would die - and she went for it. There were a few problems, though: her girl's little eyes were not fully developed; her lungs were not up to capacity; her little brain... This woman was told her daughter would never walk or speak an intelligent word, since her brain would make her mental capacity very retarded. Oh, did I mention she's blind?

Over the years this woman has struggled, through medical visits. Surgeries. Physical therapy. Counseling. Speech therapy. And on, and on...

A few times, she has broken down on the phone and cried about her family's devil-may-care attitude they have shown many times. The only person who has been with and for her during all this has been her husband... who suspects with her that this was caused by a genetic mutation he carried from the biological family he has never known. Another story altogether.

Again, a Cornell MBA. Her career prospects dried up in the years after her little girl was born... She has tried the network of Federal Academy grads. No bites. She has been so busy with her daughter's needs, that her career has tanked spectacularly. She's now working at a job she hates, while trying to earn a degree in Accounting at night. She's aiming for a graduation three years from now... that is, if she gets the help she needs from her husband and family.

A year ago, her little girl finally was toilet trained. That was a victory. She has been going to school. She has been talking a little more. Those are victories. Very well-fought-for victories.

We saw her last some time ago. (We speak with her often over the phone.) She seldom has time to go anywhere out of town with her husband, so her visit with us was quite meaningful. She's a year younger than my husband, but her hair is becoming grayer by the day. Her eyes are tired. Her face and skin can tell you the story better than I can.

Yet... She wouldn't exchange her daughter for the world. Or her former career. Or her years at sea. Or her Cornell MBA.

Posted by: newton at July 27, 2010 1:18 PM

I cannot begin to fathom this woman's via dolorosa, but I can fear the legion of government hacks who are coming over the horizon who will see her daughter and everyone else not salvageable enough to spend money on, and with one broad stroke of the pink eraser, she, and others like her will be erased, and the accountants will smile and be happy, because the books will be balanced.

Posted by: Jewel at July 27, 2010 1:45 PM

Fear not those government hacks, Jewel. America is starting to realize what this fight is really about. When Sarah Palin and Jessica's mom take on Obama and Berwick for the lives of their unique and beautiful children, God's armies will be at their sides.

Posted by: raincityjazz at July 27, 2010 5:03 PM

Thanks, Gerard. How many times now have you ruined my makeup?

This story was especially poignant since my girl was diagnosed with seizure disorder 5 years ago.

Kill ten men and Satan. Yeah, I know exactly how she feels.

Posted by: Obi's Sister at July 27, 2010 6:17 PM
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