Friday, May 13, 2011
Resilience. I think that resilience is one of the most important traits that a person can possess. It gets you through all sorts of sticky situations. It gets you through tough times. It can even get you through *some* heartbreaks.
I have a coworker who is one of the most resilient women I know. My first year as a school psychologist, she was my life line, the reason why I didn’t go insane. She is the secretary for the Director of Pupil Services. I called her for everything that year. Every question about protocol, every worry. You see, I was pretty much hired and dumped. I did not have a mentor, I did not have supervision, I had no one to process cases with. I had to learn everything on my own through trial and error and common sense.
Anyway, this woman is very special to me. She is one of the kindest, most patient women I know. And believe me-I know about the patience part. I’m sure that I tested it, especially that first year. No matter what I call her with, she’s in a good mood. She’s kind, she jokes around, she laughs at my lame, sometimes off-color jokes, nothing seems to phase her. She wins the prize, in my books, for kindest woman. She’s quality.
Why am I talking about her? Because she is a testament to strength and resiliency and grace. I just found out this week that, about 9 or 10 years ago, her then 17 year old daughter was killed. I cannot imagine. It makes me sick. This girl, from what I understand, was a wonderful teenager on the verge of adulthood. She had the world in her palm. She was a member of ROTC, she had just been accepted to college. She was killed along the side of a road while trying to give back to the community by picking up trash. Someone was on their cell phone. They didn’t see her. They crossed the fog line.
My friend was heartbroken. Without a doubt. She wondered how she could go on. So did her husband. So did her other daughters. It took a lot of work. It took time. And someone how, she did it. I had no idea that such a tragedy had occurred because it was before my time and because she is just a happy, kind, genuine person. She radiates something. I don’t know what. An inner peace. A fun loving spirit. It’s amazing how resilient she is. She likes everyone and, just as important, she likes herself. She’s kind to herself. And I don’t think that too many of us are.
Seeing her, knowing now what she went through, knowing who she is now is inspirational. It makes me realize what is important. I realize how very little I need or want. I need Alex. I need my husband…I want us to be happy and healthy. Beyond that…whatever. Yes, I’d love to have another baby. But I need to pay attention to what I have now. In my life, as it is now, having a baby is not the most crucial element. Do I feel that something is missing. Of course. But hearing my friend’s story made me realize that there are far worse things in life than not having a second child. And again, I just pray that Alex and Dan stay happy and healthy. I pray that we all have a long life together. Will we try for a baby? Of course. Will I be sad if it doesn’t happen. You betcha. Will I cry? Sure. But man, did I get some perspective.