Sunday, March 02, 2008

Feeling Grateful

I've been feeling a bit stuck about writing here lately. Lots goes on in our everyday that I could natter on about, but a recent tragedy at my husband's job has made it hard for me to do that. Just when I start to describe a day or a memory or a slice of unschooling discovery, it all suddenly seems so unimportant.

My husband works with young adults in one of the most crime-ridden, impoverished cities in this area. One of his young men was shot by another, and while one lies fighting for his life in a hospital, the other is running for his out in the world. The enormous gulf between our family life here and the lives of people in that city, just 18 miles away, is unfair. The many obstacles that need to be overcome on a daily basis in order to survive and to have a chance of escape are discouraging and depressing. I am sad for both of these young men. Sometimes it seems that despite any opportunity they may have to live a more fulfilling and successful life, and regardless of their courageous efforts to reach for those opportunitites, their fate is inevitably tied to their surrounding culture of poverty, criminal behavior, and violence. Their chances aren't good. I am sad, too, for my husband, who cares so much about these young people and who is hurting for them and their families. He lives part of his day in that world, and then comes home to us, and I can forget the reality of where he has been all day. Lately though...I just can't.

Last night we watched The Lord of the Rings - the Fellowship of the Ring as a family. My husband had never seen it before, but our son had been urging us all to watch it with him, so we did. There is that quote by Gandalf, addressing Frodo who is feeling distressed, frightened, and not altogether hopeful about what lies ahead. Frodo wishes it all away.

"So do I," says Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times.But that
is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the
time that is given us."

I think that what my husband does is very important, and as discouraging as his work can be, I think he knows it is right for him to do it. His time makes a positive difference in the lives of peole who don't have many choices about what to do with their time. It is a good fight.


Holly said...

Having worked in a similar situation, I understand what you and your husband are going through. I had a lot of trouble leaving work at work and it took a great toll on me and my family. So I wish you plenty of strength.

piscesgrrl said...

I'm sorry to hear that happened. And I'm sorry for your husband's loss! What a blessing he is to those people who need him. I'm sure it is a real challenge to reconcile the divide between the two extremes. All I can say is... how much worse would it be without people like him? That is a great gift he gives.

Laura said...

It's good to hear how your family can be the center for your husband so that he can go out to others and provide a center, a support, a still point, for them.

m~ said...

I know it's hard to leave work and not take some of it home with you. I worked as a social worker for many years. You sound very understanding of what your husband has to deal with. May you both be strengthened by your experiences.