3.23.2009

We are all more than we know

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people. Not just friends and family but friends of friends and colleagues of colleagues... random people that find the blog... it is all very touching.

We seem to have struck a chord in humanity. The impending death of a child, the suffering of a family, the tragedy of the situation, has a universal effect. Many correspondences and conversations point at our strength, our ability to soldier on... The truth is we get up every day (and a lot at night, too) and do what needs to be done. All of you would too, if you had to. We aren't extra special, and there is nothing wonderful or inspiring in what we do - we just do what has to be done and find joy in things a lot of parents take for granted.

One of Jenni's friends gave us a book a while back - Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal, by Rachel Remen. It's a nice collection of short stories, the kind of book that is meant to inspire or to invoke reflection on personal situations. One short story in particular stuck with me, and I think describes the Betz Family Columbus pretty well.

The setting for the story is an inner city hospital where a young gang member's wife is dying of cancer, and Rachel, as the chief resident, had a young psychiatry intern shadowing. In her book she retells the story, waxing poetically about the tattoo covered gangbanger's expressions of love and commitment to his dying wife. During the encounter, the shadowing Freudian intern stopped taking notes and his eyes welled with tears. As they left the room, Rachel asked the intern what he learned from the interaction. "We are all more than we seem" he said... to which Rachel wisely wrote "We are all more than we know."

Where in the parenting handbook does it teach us how to deal with tragedy and loss? (Jenni can't even find the chapter on changing little boy diapers without getting peed on!) We have been forced to live in ways we never expected to live, but have discovered unsuspected capacities to forge ahead, and to live nonetheless. We have, in some ways, found more of ourselves.
And we are not alone. Plenty of friends and family and friends of friends and colleagues have been called upon for guidance and direction and comfort. To them, to you, we say "Thank you. You are more than you know."

We are all more than we know.


I wish I were only half the man my dog thinks I am though...


-Andy

5 comments:

rht said...

You take my breath away, Andy... I think Colby's got it right and that you are definitely more than you know!

The Wendels said...

Again, you both astound me and I wish there was more I could do.

Grandma Jan said...

Celia is teaching us all to be more ...

And Colby is right (this time).

Tsquared417 said...

I love this story and the way it ties into every parent's life who has had an unexpected path thrown their way. Thanks for sharing.

Miriam said...

Your entire family is often in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story.