Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday Morning West Coast Re-Post

Saturdays are slow, no? The next door neighbor's dog is yapping and yipping, The Brothers are arguing over television shows, Sophie is taking a morning nap, I have a pile of federal grants to read and review, there's a baseball game in a couple of hours and I guess I'll get dressed and get on with it.

Here's a post from a year or so ago that popped up today. I like it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What's given and what's handled

Is the ability to hold two opposing feelings and/or thoughts something that one is graced with or something that comes with time and experience and exposure? I don't know the answer, but I see it all the time in those who share the experience of caring for a child with disabilities or who have lost a child to illness. I can look at Sophie and grieve for the loss of "normalcy," but I can also exult in her being exactly the way she is. I can sorrow over the absurdity of changing a near-seventeen year old's diapers and marvel at the gift of intimacy that entails. My friend Jody's beautiful daughter Lueza suffered from severe cerebral palsy due to gross medical malpractice when she was born, and she died unexpectedly nearly a year ago at the age of sixteen, but Jody told me the other day that it was such an honor to have cared for her daughter so intimately for so many years. I'm not talking here about all that unconditional love blather, although trite expressions are trite for a reason. I'm heading toward an understanding of openness -- of what it means to be truly open to experience, to the relinquishment of false notions of power and control, to, dare I say it, Love. I wouldn't be able to live, one person might say, hearing of the death of someone's child.  I could never do what you do, another says, I just couldn't handle it. 

Contrary to what some might say, we're not given what we can handle. We're opening to handle what we're given.


  1. Yes. And yes and yes and yes. I think none of us really knows what we're capable of handling until we're given the opportunity. One of the things I love about reading your blog is how you share the full spectrum of your life. There is this and this and that juxtaposed with god-only-knows. I nod when I read, yep. Uh-huh. It's all love as far as I'm concerned.

  2. Light and love, baby. That's what I'm talking about today. But of course there is always balance and so there is darkness and there is sadness too. This is the planet we live on. These are the terms we agree to when we take that first breath. Or so I believe.
    Speaking of breath- you take mine away with your writing.

  3. I loved this post when I first read it and I love it now. You hold such widely varied experiences at once, and you do it with uncommon grace.

  4. Thank you for reminding me.

  5. That last line is a head snapper! Would you mind if I used in a facebook post, crediting you of course? I can include a link to your post as well. Many people could benefit from reading this. I dobt often comment, but you are part of my routine.

    1. Thank you for commenting! And of course you can post it on Facebook. I'd be honored. Now I'm off to check out your Trail's End!

  6. Exactly.

    I remembering reading this last year and thinking, if only I could so eloquently write my feeling into words, this is what I would say. Thank you for saying them and for the reminder again today. I think even a year later, as Zoey is yet a year older, I appreciate it all the more.

    Happy Saturday.

  7. I appreciated this post so much the first time I read it that I copied it into a journal. I just re-read it the other day and thought yet again - Yes, that is how I see it. "We're not given what we can handle. We're opening to handle what we're given." Thanks Elizabeth.

  8. This is my all time favorite post of yours, Elizabeth, among many favorites. My daughter has had a very difficult year and these words have given me strength during dark days. I am grateful for you and Sophie!

  9. That last line IS a head-snapper, as Laura said above. Very thought-provoking. Thanks. :)

  10. Yep, it's so true. Thank you for stating it so exquisitely.

  11. I only know you through your writing and I just love you. Thank you for writing this and reposting it. It's beautiful. -Michele, CP Daily Living

  12. i remember this post. beautiful, sad and so wise and true.



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