I was the sort of kid that insisted, when I perceived that my parents were being unfair would complain. "Mum, it's not fair, Elizabeth's parent's don't do that". You know who Elizabeth was, you had a friend like her (or maybe you were her, I don't know). I got Ovaltine, she got Nestle Quik. I got pure apple juice, she got kool-aid. She had a large white cat called Fluffy. I had two huge tom's called Stanley and Jonathan. She got those Popsicles with ice cream in them, I got, you guessed it, home made Popsicles with apple juice. She had better food, better toys, better, well everything.
And I would complain, which must have cut my mother to the quick, but that's another post for another day.
And my mother would look at me, and she would say "Mrs. Spit, Comparisons are Odious".
She's right you know. There's always someone with something better, there's always something about how other's handle their life that we just don't quite like. It isn't what we think we would do. But oh, we are so quick to judge. So quick to find fault, so quick to condemn.
Trish wrote such a lovely post on Thursday. She was talking about President Obama's comment, that was, at best, unfortunate. Now, I don't think that he meant it as such. I think it was an unfortunate choice of words by a man so much in the public spotlight. But, his words, as unfortunate as they were, gave rise to what Trish was saying. That words hurt. They have power, and they hurt. And that retard especially hurts.
I was pretty surprised about how this post got turned into a "bash Trish" situation. I'm still a bit confused about the whole thing.
Now, I've never been afraid to jump in where angels fear to tread, so I don't mind saying, those comments were hurtful. They may not have been mean spirited, but they were mean. And I'm sitting in my dinning room, several thousand miles away from Trish and all I can think of is "you hurt my friend, for no good reason". Really, that's about it. And perhaps what bothers me most is that you hurt my friend because it made you feel better to do so. And I'm not ok with that.
You see, when you tell Trish she's whining, when you tell her:
A lot of the time, you do have a poor attitude, compared to most other mothers,
some of those that have lost one or more children. (And I don't mean by
I am astounded. I know 2 Trish's. I know the Trish that blogs, and I know the Trish that I talk to late at night, when Robbie is in the hospital, or he's unwell. They are 2 am calls, calls at a time of night when the lines between possible and impossible, and if we are honest, the lines between life and death are a bit blurred. They are calls made when she is exhausted, and I just want to hold her hand. Pray for her and with her. Hold out hope for tomorrow.
And that Trish, the Trish who has so kindly shared Robbie's joy and sorrows, who has, in the midst of profoundly trying times celebrated her thankfulness and her sorrow, the joys and the pain of being a mum to a special needs baby, I have been thankful for her.
It is true courage to face the challenges of your life head on. It is true valour to describe life as you are living it, not as you want it to be. It is our great honour to be allowed into her life. It's not easy to be a mum, whether your baby is healthy or struggles to eat. It's a bit harder when your baby struggles.
And so, I think, on behalf of many of us, I would like to say thank you. It has been my great good privilege and honour to be a part of Trish's life, and through the life of Trish and Dave, Robbie's life.
Chief Moose Purveyor, Edmonton, Canada.