I recently was checking out a blog I follow. This particular posting was about a source of supreme joy in their life. However, tragedy also played a part. It wasn't at the core of the happiness, or surrounding the joyousness like a thin, brittle coating, but it was there all the same and ever-present. That was the problem: I really wanted to respond, but how?
I could not figure out how this individual could endure such a horrific event without having it emblazoned on their chest. Why is this deep wound not visible to everyone they encounter? How can they live their life looking "normal," keeping all the sadness unseen and under the surface? How could pure joy shine through, without a hint of grief?
No words would come. Lots of words came to mind, but none that could convey the myriad of things I felt, and not wanting to offend or say the wrong thing, I made no comment.
The childen I work with deal with all sorts of things that kids should never even see. One of my former students broke up a fight between his mother and her boyfriend. He was bitter and scarred over what he had seen (probably many times). Some of the kids (8 and 9-years old) go home to empty apartments with no older siblings, and the apartment complex is a bit rough. Many have adult responsibilities to take care of---watching siblings that are toddlers---even though they not ready to shoulder that load. Some of the kids have parents who work nights; I shudder when I wonder if anyone is there with them while they sleep...We might get aggravated when they don't have their homework, but if Mom is an unmedicated bi-polar, how much blame can you heap on a child?
|photo by Studio Neko|
People you see walking down the street, propelling themselves to their next destination, may have a calm exterior. But you never know...