Saturday, January 23, 2010

What happened to the PLAN?

There is a time in your life when you realize that planning is for suckers, and that life isn't fair. Well, I guess it's not the planning that is wrong. Planning certainly is safer and it does have its advantages. What is wrong is assuming life will go as you planned. It's interesting how we're told our whole lives, "Life isn't fair." And we say, "yeah, yeah, I know." And we experience it to some extent when we are young...our parents make us move from our friends, the cute boy likes a prettier and richer girl, we don't get the spot we want on a sports team, etc. If we're lucky, that is the extent to which we learn life isn't fair when we are young. But, what we are also taught growing up is that if you PLAN, life will go well for you. If you do well in school, excel at extracurriculars, volunteer your'll go places, get into the good college, get a good job, pick the right partner, have beautiful children, be a wonderful parent, and have a wonderful life in suburbia. So, I did excel, I did go to a good school, I did pick the right man for me, I did volunteer my time, I did care about others, I did save money, I did PLAN. And for awhile, it was going so well.

I remember the day we took this picture. I had graduated grad school, we both had good jobs, we had just bought this beautiful home, and we had just taken home our "baby," King. Isn't he cute? It seemed like the plan was working. All our hard work was FINALLY paying off. We knew there were lessons to be learned, but we thought we could take on anything. Because why? Because we planned, and we (or I guess I) thought that was all it took.

Wow, were we wrong. Three years later, Jason's going to an academy, I'm stuck with a house that I need to sell in the worst market that has been seen in decades. We realized all the plans in the world didn't prepare us for this, or for our move across the country. And so I finally moved to Arizona, and started to realize that life can take some very unexpected turns. I NEVER would have imagined I would live in Arizona, on the border to Mexico, on a ranch with cows and rattlesnakes and scorpions, oh my! But we did ok. We survived. The lesson was not yet fully learned.

And then the real lesson came. And the day I learned that life is REALLY not fair and REALLY unpredictable came. I thought I knew before then, but I had no clue. I remember it like it was yesterday. April 4, 2008. We learned our longed-for baby, our first baby, had died. This is the day my view of the world truly shattered. There had been some cracks in the lens, but this day, the whole thing just shattered. And I'm still reconstructing a new lens, a new way to look at life. Every time I think I have it, a new crack comes, and I have to start all over again. Loss, infertility, month after month of infertility treatments, more loss. Wow, how do you make sense of that? How do you pick up each of those pieces and move on? I just want to scream, "I got, it I got the lesson! Can you give me a break already?!" Meanwhile, people around us are living their plan, their dreams. So far, for them, the lens has not been shattered. It is not easy to avoid the "why me?" question. But, really, I can't help but ask....why me? And not them? Do I know logically that we all have our journeys and they all have ups and downs? Of course. Does it FEEL like everyone else's journey is easier right now? Absolutely. Why do I have to learn this life lesson THIS way? Couldn't I have learned it another way? Another way that let me keep my babies? I'd give my right arm for that to have been the case. But it's not. This was how I had to learn this lesson...the lesson of fairness (or lack thereof), of patience, of courage and of grace. Uggghh, I hate life lessons like these! People say this will make me a better, stronger person. Maybe so. Some days I'd rather be a bad, weak person, if that means I could be a mommy and our babies would be still with us.

So, today I am grieving the plan that went so very wrong. And I am also (somehow) celebrating the wonderful things that are ahead of us...that may not be part of the plan, but are even more beautiful because they aren't.


  1. Oh, yes, the plan...I get it.

    It is probably not a comfort for you to hear this right now, but sometimes what is unplanned is better than what is planned. I hope it is that way for you.

  2. Yes, Joy, that is my hope too! Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I'm trying to hold on to the hope that maybe this will all be worth it. Your story is still such an inspiration, so thank you:).