Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Master Plan

The Lord has a plan for my life. I know this to be true. What I don't know, may never know, is why all the filler happens in between. I mean I'm completely good with all the joyful stuff. Bring on the warm puppy smell and loud kid giggles. Sunrise and sunset? Count me in every time. I even find value in the people I meet along the way.

It's the other stuff I'm talking about. The kind of things that bring you to your knees or, worse yet, leave you laying there in a fetal position. Helpless. Afraid. It's the hurt and sadness and despair, all rolled into one. It's the uglier part of life.

While I have plenty of downward dips in my life, it is nothing compared to what my friend, Heather, is going through right now. For 35 days, she has been trying to be boring. Doing nothing, literally nothing, in a hospital bed because she's been trying to hold her baby inside her womb. He has had a myriad of health problems, including the risk of kidney failure when born. If he is not born at more than four pounds, he will not be given the gift of dialysis.

He was born yesterday. Over five pounds (thank you, Lord!), but still several weeks premature. His name is Jacob. He is a sweet, beautiful baby. Jacob also is in kidney failure, has an infected colon outside of his body, and faces other life-threatening issues. He has had two surgeries in his short life. News is not even day by day anymore. It is hour by hour. My friend is one of the strongest women I know, but this is one of those wear-you-down-in-the-worst-kind-of-way obstacles.

In all the Lord's infinite wisdom, I wish there was a way to carry the burden for others, to take part of their struggle, strap it to our own back, and carry it away. I would do this for her. I love her that much. Unfortunately, this isn't how life works. We can only lift up our prayers on their behalf, not take away the really tough part of the journey. Perhaps it is the Lord's plan that we must be broken before we can be built back up again. He gives us each other so we can survive.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Howling at the Moon

I'm an Aquarius. A water baby, if you will. And although I rarely read my horoscope, I believe there is something to be said for how the stars were aligning the day you were born. I once read Aquarius women are eccentric, loyal (but usually with only a select few), and willing to try anything once. Sounds sexy, doesn't it? Well, it's not.

I am eccentric. Except you're only eccentric when you're rich. I'm just weird. I have all these strong feelings about random stuff, like not wearing deodorant because it causes cancer or leaving only one hubcap on my car because all the others ones have vanished. The things I should care about? I don't. Sorting laundry by color, rising up the corporate ladder, finishing things I start. Meaningless endeavors in my world.

I'm also loyal to the bone. My loyalty goes so deep in fact that I only let one to two people really get to know me in my whole lifetime. My best friend, Jamie, is one. My husband is the other. While I love having lots of different friends and sharing stories with others, I rarely tell them my darkest, deepest secrets. I don't think I'm terribly bad, but I don't think I'm terribly good either. I'm just hard to love. It's been safer along the way to be selective.

The last Aquarius trait I have in spades. I'm a risk taker. I am, quite literally, willing to try anything once. I have jumped out of an airplane. Eaten from the mouths of others to win a contest. Quit a job out of frustration. Tattooed my skin. Swam naked at night in the ocean during a jelly fish alert. All this stuff, silly and sometimes stupid, to be able to personally experience it. To say, I loved or I hated it, but I know for myself because I tried it.

I have a necklace that my Mom gave me for my birthday a few years back with a picture of the exact moon in the sky on the day and year I was born. It was a seven descending, waning moon. The note attached said, "Let this serve as a constant reminder to always look up. Is it your moon in the sky tonight?" If I was another astrological sign, it might be enough to calmly look up at the moon and meditate. Instead, I'm the crazy one running around her yard naked, covered in war paint, cursing the moon like a wild banshee. This is how it goes with Aquarius women. The only thing you know is that you never really know.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Edward vs. Jacob

When I left the movie theater last night, I was once again smitten and bitten (not literally, of course, though it is very tempting) with the vampire world in Forks, Washington. This seems crazy to me because I'm not 12. I'm 32. Yet, here I was rushing to the movies, all giddy and restless to see how the love story would unfold on the big screen.

And it is a crazy love story. Vampires. Werewolves. A clumsy, yet stunningly beautiful, heroine. Two men, also heroically handsome, who love her with such a passion that it makes everything else so trivial. It is an all-consuming love. Hold on to it and burn, or let it go and fade away. Just like the characters, even though I sense danger in every scene, I cannot look away.

So, what keeps us coming back for more in this Edward versus Jacob saga? It might be that we enjoy a good love story, or perhaps it's our curiosity about the darker side. For me, and this may be true for many women, it's the burning hot chemistry. It's the way he looks at her, as if he wants to brand her his woman for eternity. "Brand me, brand me," I often feel like yelling.

As much as I love this escapism, I also worry about it. This is not real life. This is not even real love. For those more seasoned and cynical to the world (yes, this is me!), it's just two hours to escape from kids and housework, but for other impressionable young girls, it becomes the picture of perfect love. Everything else, even something honest and real, falls short. It makes me sad because life is hard enough. You don't need to be disillusioned about love, too.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm all for hot love. I encourage sniffing people because you can't live without their scent and imprinting on your life mate, even in the womb. I like hot kissing, but agree about waiting for marriage and losing your virginity until right after graduation. When my friend fell in love a few years back, she said she just wanted to eat him up, hair and all, because she loved him so much. Did I discourage that? No, ma'am. I'm no love hater.

The story in Forks can teach us many things, good and bad. It's been very well done, but it's also Hollywood and that makes it tragically flawed. It's really hard to remember all that, especially with Jacob sporting the hot, bronzed skin and beautiful, white teeth. For now, it's back to my real life until the next movie rolls around, though I am planning to buy some tight flannel shirts this fall. I love you, Edward. I'll see you soon.