Friday, February 29, 2008

The Other Side

Of all the things I've written for this site, one stands out as being the most personal to me.

I've chronicled a lot of my own minor catastrophes and dramas, as well as those of a few others, but a piece from January of last year which dealt with a girl I knew in high school who endured an unimaginable tragedy -- that was the hardest one to get through.

At the center of it was the torturous question of where she might be and what might have happened to her.

Two nights ago, I got an answer.

She contacted me -- after someone sent her what I'd written.

I can't even begin to express how great she's doing -- despite all she's been through -- or how happy it makes me to be able to say that.

(The Part That Never Comes Home/1.21.07)


Anonymous said...

I've just re-read your original post and once again there are times when the only thing to say is well done, Son.

Calitri said...

There's no substitute for good news.

tamara said...

This is one of those times when the "world being so small" is a gift, rather than a curse. So glad you got your answer.

Nicole said...

Chez, that post was one of the ones that really touched me, and stayed with me. I'm glad to see that you got your answer, and that things have turned out well for her.

lakelady said...

"cant begin to express"? maybe not yet, but you will find the words. Of that I'm confident. I just hope they are ones you choose to share with us. And thanks for starting off my Leap Day with a smile.

Anonymous said...

As I sit here at work and cry, because once again, you have touched me on such an emotional level, it makes me thankful for my life and those in it. Espceially you..

If anyone ever thinks "why me God"
I hope they take amoment to remember this story and say "Thank God" for what I do have. I am so happy that she had you for a friend back then and I'm glad you now you have an answer.
Beautifully written. Both times.

Manny said...

The human spirit is the most resilient, yet most fragile thing on earth. You can lift it with a word, and take it down in the next breath. A person can go through an unimaginable tragedy and be a pillar of strength, or they can lose themselves entirely to it. The original post was incredibly powerful. I'm glad to hear she's recovered some, if not all, of her previous self.

Chez said...

Sorry, but as much as I truly appreciate your kind words, I can't in any way credit "God" for anything positive that's happened in my friend's life. If she wishes to, then that's entirely up to her.

What happened to her -- a completely innocent kid -- was one of the first events in my life that made me realize the whole benevolent God thing is a bunch of nonsense. It's naive and obscene to believe otherwise. God doesn't work in mysterious ways, because he doesn't work at all.

Me said...

So, it's me - that "girl" you wrote about...

Chez, I too was angry at God for a long time. It wasn't God that did those things. It was an evil human being. But, God saw what he did - what "they" did because as you know, there were more evil beings in my life. But look, I think God is still working in my life - he helped me find you. I told you God had a sense of humor. So, to my "gentle soul" of a friend - I know why I am still here... I am glad I found you once again!

bittyk said...

I've only in the last few months found your blog and I am unabashedly hooked. I've gone back and read your archived posts and enjoyed them immensely. You are an amazaingly gifted writer and your mastery of the language (in an age where grammar is routinely butchered in every genre) is almost titillating. I eagerly anticipate every new posting and I giggle over every "inside" reference that strikes a chord, be it "The Office" or "Kids in the "Hall" or who knows what on any given day. As such, I admit to being a bit bummed because, no matter how similar the sense of humor, musical tastes or views on society and Oprah, I can't help but think "Wow, this guy would think I were a total simpleton because I believe in God." Bummer.

Chez said...

bittyk --

No, no -- not a simpleton at all. Not ignorant or anything of the like.

I apologize if my response sounded so angry; it wasn't meant to.

I don't think that a belief in something greater than us is a bad thing; I guess I respond quickly -- unfortunately so -- when a person's first reaction to a tragedy is to invoke God. It just really upsets me for some reason because it so seems to fly in the face of the reality of what's happening at that moment -- to call on someone or something which is supposed to be so all-caring.

Besides that -- the person in question just put me in my place big time, and maybe she's right.

Chez said...

And with that -- I turn this all back to what it was supposed to be about in the first place.

I'm sorry for dragging it off-course.

Thanks everyone.

Anonymous said...

While I cannot compare my own experiences to your friend's, Chez, I too have reached a point of pain where life seemed without point, purpose, or worth. I was 8 years old.

I will not bother you with the details of how I came to depression, but at that pivotal point, the contemplation of attempting suicide on my mind and a pitch black hate for life seething through me, I laughed.

I laughed at life. I laughed at how utterly futile it is to pretend we know when our life should end. Most of all, I laughed because I knew. I knew one thing at that point, and that was that as long as I had breath, I had something to live for. Whether that something was family, myself, or bettering others' lives, there was something.

I realized it was my perception that was flawed, not my life. My unhappiness didn't change my life's inherent value, only my effectiveness at maximizing that value. To change my effectiveness, I had to (artificially at first) change my happiness. What matters most is recognizing that just because you think something is, even about yourself, doesn't necessarily make it true. Truth doesn't change with perception, we have only bent it to meet our interpretation.

It seems like a "Eureka!" moment, right? In the depths of despair, a mind snaps right back into a realization of self-worth? What are the odds of that?

I have found that it is only through periods of give and take that my life has been truly enriched. In order to understand how important my life was, I had to feel as if I didn't have one. It couldn't be faked or bought, and it certainly couldn't be bartered with some 9-5 psychologist or a purple, pink, or multi-colored pill.

Today, I take the good with the bad. I get out of bed every day with the goal of being happier at the end of it, but knowing that I will be unhappy at some point during that day. Because of my decision to approach life with the goal of being happier, I go through the day with a smile, maybe not always on my face, but in my soul.

P.S. If you're curious, I am agnostic.