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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sad Hopefulness

A very sweet work acquaintance of mine said something thought-provoking to me last week:

“Chrystie, I’m just so sad for you.”

We had been talking about Ellie, and her cerebral palsy, and how we experienced a rough doctor’s appointment a couple weeks ago, and that was her response. There is no doubt in my mind that she meant it in the most sincere and loving way, and her words were not offensive whatsoever. BUT, they took me aback.

I quickly answered, “Oh, no, please don’t feel sad for me! We really ARE blessed beyond measure.”

Sure, my response was soiled with lip-service, but I wasn’t sure how to react to her words. I’ve always said that I hate it when people feel sorry for me. But, is feeling SAD the same as feeling SORRY?

It got me thinking about one of my sweetest friends. She found out this week that her mom has terminal cancer. When I heard the news, my heart dropped to the floor and my knees buckled as I wept for her. I FELT SAD FOR MY PRECIOUS FRIEND. From the depths of my soul, I was covered in sadness, because someone I love is hurting. My kindred spirit of a friend has been through more than enough pain and disappointment in her life, and I wanted to cry out at the unfairness of this big blow. I wanted to fix it and I wanted to take this burden from her.

Perhaps that’s what people, at least those who are genuine and true, feel for me. And for Ellie. They don’t feel sorry for us in a benevolent way, just as I don’t pity my sweet girlfriend. Maybe they just wish that our burdens weren’t so heavy, and that they were able to fix it.

I’m okay with that. I guess, then, I’m okay with people being sad for me. I’m NOT okay with that sadness overriding the hope and blessing though. Just as I can’t dwell in the “what if”s and “what should have been”s, I can’t accept other people floating along that river of despair. Be sad, but then dry yourself off and jump on the hope boat.

So, to my dear friend, know today that I am sad for you, but that I also hold your hope desperately. I love you.


Sunny said...

I love you!

Anonymous said...

You are wise beyond your years! Your comment about not wanting sadness to overshadow the hope and blessing really hit home. Thank you. You have a wonderful attitude, and seem like a beautiful person. :-)

Patyrish said...

Once again you have put into words something that I couldnt work out in my head.

I found my shaking my head at every word.

thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Erin said...

I have said it before, your way of expressing thoughts through writing is truly a gift. I am liking the new background.

Melissa (CP/BBC board) :) said...

UGH! You took the words right out of my mouth!! ( & put tears in my eyes, BTW..darn you!!)
You always have such a gentle, tender way of expressing yourself.....& I LOVE that!