Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life.. or something like that

I have been keeping busy last few days and have not been able to keep up with all thats happening around. Even with emails. But one such email came to me yesterday and sort of shook me. It was from my office colleague who just a few days back we all had congratulated for becoming a proud father of a beautiful girl.

I will explain the reason why I chose to post this email (without disclosing the names) on a public blog just in a moment. But check this. This is the most poignant email I have ever got.

.....................

Thank you all for the congratulations! The arrival of my daughter continues to be a truly joyous, fascinating, and magical experience.

As I return to the office and likely receive the usual baby questions, I want to express some painful news once rather than many times. I want to share my shock, sadness, disappointment, malaise, and grief.

Eva[name changed] is a healthy baby and does the normal baby things, outside of the fact that she was born without eyes. Her particular case is extremely rare and we many never know why it happened.

Outside of the ongoing grieving process, I choose (as best as I can) to focus on the opportunities. Dwelling on obstacles has never gotten me anywhere in life so I see no point in dwelling on what Eva may not be able to do.

I see raising Eva as a spiritual journey. If she remains blind, she will not know what she's missing and I don't want to treat her as incomplete. I have never known a blind person before and this is a great opportunity to befriend such a person. I wonder how I will explain the color green to her. I look forward to learning from her extraordinary awareness of the other senses. When I close my eyes I am aware of so much more of the symphony of sounds around me, the feel of my heart beating, the sweet and sour and spicy tastes in my mouth, and the fragrances wafting in the air. Just as the sighted may gaze longingly at the horizon where earth meets sky, Eva may teach me the listening experience of ears soaring out to the edge of audibility, of listening to what's far off in the distance, perhaps when she and I stand at the top of a mountain on our skis.

I feel fortunate that I have health insurance and that I have access to medicine. My children are not starving to death and they are not being brutally murdered. Other parents are not as fortunate.

Clearly there are new things for my wife and me to learn to parent Eva, though I suspect that's true to some extent for any new child. My wife and I will be looking into those special skills in the coming months. While we have already located a great resource in [edited], we are open to any recommendations and advice you may have.

Maybe I'll finally persuade my wife to get a dog. :)

Thanks,

XYZ [changed]

............................................

I chose to post this email text for a couple of reasons. For me this blog is as much about my rants and opinion as about my experiences. I know hardly anyone reads my blogs, and all those few and far who do, thanks for that; it keeps me going.

But I want to continue writing for one simple reason. I want to revisit all my posts one by one, some years down the line. And try to make sense of them. I am hoping that it would be fulfilling in some sense after all those years. This blog is a recording devise for my journey.
And this email would remind me of a time when I stopped for a while and pondered. This may not be an earth shattering email, but will remind me of how close humans can be from 'real' tragedy. This is 'real' stuff unlike most of us including myself consider tragic.

Life can have a sobering effect at times.


2 comments:

Aniruddha said...

In a sense this email makes me feel why I rant for smaller things.

The colleague of yours is really a great guy.

Blue Bike said...

The colleague of yours has really shown great courage ... instead of the "why me" attitude.
And defenitely, when you look back at these posts a few years from now... it'll be something different

maybe we'd laugh at posts related to petroleum prices since everyone would be driving electric/fuel cell vehicles...
Discussion about the first IPL tournament might fill us with nostalgia and we'd compare the trends of that time with our "good ol' days" :)