25 July 2006

Carrot-chasing

It almost makes me crazy wondering why sometimes. For instance, why, in just the space of six days, have I been to two funerals for two babies, and had loved ones attend two others? Right in the middle of this dying and burying, another friend's baby was born--and though the baby was considered high-risk at first, she is coming along nicely now. On the day of her birth she weighed in at a mere two ounces less than ten pounds, and that in spite of the fact that she came a month early. Her parents are both 18 ("and-a-half"), not married, not sure of anything -- themselves, or each other.

Why?

Why did committed families who planned and worked for and wanted their babies lose them? Why did two teens who will likely move quickly on emotionally, as most teens do, and struggle to make sense of young single parenthood, "slip up" and have a child at all, a third person who has already tied them together and changed their lives irreversibly?

I don't ask these whys with my fist or even my head shaking. I ask why because I know there are answers. Maybe they aren't all my answers, but perhaps in a way they are.

I have whys about my own life. Okay, and I have whys about my own babies. Sometimes I'm in a hurry to fill in this life's take-home quiz questions before I've read my assigned chapters. Something (Someone) knowing whispers to me repeatedly, "Stop trying to see the end from the beginning."

Why did these loving mothers and fathers lose their beautiful children? These babies are angels now, strong and perfect. Carrots dangling before the noses of parents who ache for reunion and who want to believe.

Why does an adolescent girl need a fat, blinking, adorable earthly angel to care for? Will this child be her carrot? A carrot for the boy too?

Seems like I've been standing in the middle of my own field lately, forgetting to walk, sighing at the carrot which I can never seem to reach. This is all wrong; I've got to get back to work. This is a trance, not a real rejuvenating rest. I like carrots. It's gonna be a crunchy, juicy, flavorful carrot. Gimme the carrot. Must. Chase. That. Carrot. Step, step, step, walk, walk, pull that plough. Carrot.

God isn't cruel. Whys have answers, good answers.

And carrots are good for your vision.

9 comments:

compulsive writer said...

I'm so sorry about the babies.


When my friend's husband died in a horrible drowning accident I kept trying to understand why and how. She told me it was prideful to think that one could understand God.


"Stop trying to see the end from the beginning."

That's beautiful. I'm going to be chewing on that for a while.

J'oga said...

I agree with compulsive writer. "stop trying to see the end from the beginning."
When I read that, something in my soul clicked. Must remember that one.

you really are such an excellent writer, geo. It's interesting that today I had a very similar thought to the one you just expressed. I was reading in my health textbook all about contraceptives, and I found myself a little frustrated to think of all of the people I know (quite a few) who desperately want children of their own - and yet here are all of these devices for the people who are desperately trying NOT to have children. It's a difficult thing to think about.

Thank you for your constantly wise thoughts. I will keep moving . . . keep pressing toward the great blessings of life that still lie in front of me.

Lorien said...

I agree with you--that there are answers to the "whys" of life. And I get crazy frustrated trying to figure them all out. I believe there are answers, but I forget that I'm not supposed to understand them all right now. Bit by bit, experience by experience. Thank you for putting this into words so eloquently.

Moi said...

Loved your post. I often wonder why things like this happen. I just set them on my spiritual back burner sometimes.

Jamie said...

Maybe it's hormones, but I can't stop tears from falling because, while I know there are many carrots you and I and everyone chases, that elusive Baby Carrot boggles my mind, too. Most of the time I maintain the peace and perspective you voice in this post but sometimes I let the why's take over, just for a little while. I think about getting ready to deliver this thrid and final baby, and wonder why I get a third when you have none and you are such a gorgeous, loving, wonderful mother. And then I think back to the two times (only two, lucky for me) when I have wanted to be pregnant or thought I was pregnant and wasn't. There was in my life each time, someone close with an unplanned pregnancy, bringing a baby into a situation that must have broken Heavenly Father's heart. Without bitterness I wondered how the math all works out. Why am I miscarrying while she is labor, doubting and dreading and hoping? I have different thoughts at different times, but two thoughts come consistently: first, that this mortal experience and the blessing of a body must be of such infinite worth--if those spirits will get in line to be born to a schizophrenic mother in a three-generation, broken down trailer house in Livingston, Montana (which is, I'll admit, better than 80% of the other possible locations in this crazy world); and that having our eyes truly opened after this life, our minds open to the whole plan, the whole picture, is really going to be something. I KNOW Heavenly Father lives and loves us, not just as our perfect father, but as a DAD--a friend, someone who wants to see us happy and comforted and joyful--so what he has in store must be better than what our minds can conceive right now. I can't wait to see YOUR prize package, Geo. Mucho Amor--JM

~j. said...

Oooooohhh...excellent questions.

God isn't cruel. Whys have answers, good answers.

Thank you for saying that.

My answer was this: Be comforted that you are the mom of a son that didn't even need to take a breath to prove himself.

I have to make myself remember that when all I want is for him to be here, breathing. Instead, he is our family's constant reminder of how we should be behaving so that we can be with him again later.

If you come across any other answers, please, let me know.

Geo said...

cw: Some people also say that it's arrogant to think we could ever be like God, but that's the point, at least in the long-long-long-long-term, right? How can it be prideful to seek to understand one's own parent, especially a perfect parent worth patterning one's life after, whose ways would surely be comprehensible and beautifully satisfying if only our brains were big enough to take them in? I don't have a problem with whys and hows. If I could start a billboard campaign it would probably read: "Unless you ask, you'll never know!"

That said, there's a great deal of virtue in waiting patiently for answers. That's the part where I'm taking wobbly baby steps.

j'oga: Thanks, Lovely. I'm glad you clicked. But you have an issue with patience too . . . ?? ; )

Geo said...

lorien: "Why" and "wait" require balance and patience I don't naturally exude, so I really understand your frustration. Lately I've been trying to repeat this to myself as often as I can:

"Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." (Doctrine and Covenants 23: 17)

carrot: That is great advice! I need a bigger stove!

james: Yah, my carrot's gonna win the prize at the county fair someday! ; )

Thanks for your heartfelt response. It's a good thing I haven't been posting much this summer, because it seems like everytime I do I make you cry. xoxo

P.S. How's the little almost-a-hatchling?

~j.: What an astonighly beautiful and solid answer. And I think you are also beautiful and astonishing and solid for being able to recognize and remember and teach that answer.

(And I am so happy for you and your current belly project!)

Jamie said...

Hi Geo...I miss you! My hatchling seems to be doing great, if not a little cramped, having outgrown his current living space. He (or she, maybe??) has dropped an inch or two and tucked his head down finally, but still kicks and punches alot (and has opinions about my choice of pants and skirts--which waitstbands invade his space). Good times....I had to say that the previous post by "j" has stuck in my mind all of these weeks and I think it's a beautiful answer, too. I think I will always remember it.