Thursday, November 19, 2009


I stayed up a few nights ago to watch the meteor showers. I thought how much Colby would have liked to see them. Even as a young child he was interested in science and astronomy. Unfortunately, in Nashville, it was cloudy and rainy and I could not see anything from my front porch. I thought then how disappointed Colby would have been to miss them before I realized he probably had a front row seat.

My counselor friend has asked me to try to balance loss and gain. When I think of a loss, I am to focus on the positive, a gain. Not that there is anything positive about losing a child. There is absolutely no gain. None. Nada, Zip. Nil. I understand that, but the balance must be there if I am to put one foot in front of the other, if I am to keep going. So I think of things like Colby sitting right there up in the sky, leaning on a cloud, a bag of popcorn in his hand as he waits for the meteor showers to begin. Implausable to be sure, but the image helps. It keeps me from focusing so totally on the loss, from drowning in the deficit of my life.

I think it is good advice for other situations as well. A flat tire is an opportunity to practice changing it. A missed meeting is a chance to improve your time management. For many, it is hard to think that way. I used to do it easily. Lately, not so much. But, there is no change without intent. There is no possibility of crawling out of this dark hole without the intent to do so. So I think of gains, however insignificant or impossible they may be. One day that may change. The gains may be real, but the loss will always, forever, be there.

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