Please Prove You Are Not a Robot

My sister Marianne writes a beautiful blog about her journey as a mom of a Down Syndrome son; it’s called the Retarded Mother and is always worth the read.  I wanted to comment on her recent piece about losing her daughter Joanna, back in 1987, which even though is 23 years ago, seems like yesterday.

I got frustrated trying to post my comment to her blog because I had to get through the security checks and as usual was not very successful. You know the ones I am talking about; you have to look at something that appears to be an array of  numbers and letters, and reproduce it to prove you are not a robot.  The letters, much like a doctor’s handwriting on his/her worst day, are arranged so that no one can actually decipher them. I understand that there is a secret grade on a curve logarithm built in where if you try 8 times, that in itself proves you are not a robot (ostensibly because you care so darn much.)  And by the way, wouldn’t my frustration and expletives prove I am not a robot?  (One of my computer fantasies is that I invent a robot to fill out those boxes for me. Ah you say, further proof, as robots do not have fantasies.)

I can offer further evidence that I am not a robot, should the cyber security police want it.  As I read my sister’s blog about the loss of her precious daughter Joanna, and saw the footprints that she shared for the very first time, I wanted to kiss those tiny feet right on my computer screen. I cried for the loss of this little one, and thought about meeting her one day in heaven.  I wondered if she would tease me and say “Aunty Liz! Did you really kiss my footprints on your computer screen?” And then I would blush, and cry, and hug her, and say “Why yes, I did actually,” and then kiss her tiny feet in person.

I am not the most compassionate person alive, but I am no robot. The last three months in our family’s life has been filled with some unbearable heartache. While seemingly going about my business, I have had such a heaviness inside each and every day.  It began in February when my brother-in-law was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.  A few weeks later our cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy.  And last but not least, a young couple in our family suffered a miscarriage.  Each of these situations has moved me to pray, plead, weep, reflect, ponder, and feel so sad inside.  Like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, I know I have a heart because it is breaking.

In addition to the tears however, I have one further piece of evidence that I am not a robot.  In the midst of all this sadness, I still believe in a good and loving God.  I am perplexed and disappointed at times that He does not grant all my requests, which are quite reasonable to my un-robotic mind. Yet I cannot seem to wipe Him from my consciousness, or banish Him from my mini-kingdom.  His loving presence seeps back in at times when I least expect it, and via folks who are struggling themselves.

To come back to the opening of this piece, my brother-in-law Joe, who is battling lung cancer, shared his story of the loss of Joanna.  My sister Marianne was there as well and I was so moved to hear each detail as they shared their personal and sad story, and to see that the sharing of it was still so painful, but it was done to join with me in my grief about our family’s miscarriage.

The fellowship of suffering, while a true members only establishment, does not have anyone clamoring to get in. However if you find that you have landed there against your will, how nice to find loving people inside its walls who have traveled that road, and who will cry with you, and sit with you, and share your pain, and help you believe that life can have joy again.  In that tiny kitchen in Five Points, I think all three of us proved we were not robots.  We love, we hope, we hurt, we mourn, we joke, we laugh, we remember, we rise up again, and we look for joy anywhere we can find it.  I find mine in God, the people He has given me to love and who love me, music, and last but not least, chocolate. There’s your proof; now quit making me copy those crazy letters.

About allthingslizard

I have done just about everything I have always wanted to do: worked as a campus minister, became a teacher, married a nice man named Joe (36 years now), adopted three wonderful kids and watched them reach adulthood, lived overseas, earned my Ph.D., and recently became an RN. However the only thing I have not yet done is to write about my life's journey, even though I have written a lot of personal poems, mom notes to my kids, academic papers, and thousands of letters. I have a lot to write about because all those things I have done were accomplished on smooth roads with beautiful vistas, as well as on scary, twisted, hurricane alleys. Maybe you will find something here that you can relate to. And yes, I know that a preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with.
This entry was posted in Theology in Daily Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Please Prove You Are Not a Robot

  1. Lori says:

    Love your blogs, Liz. I need to go back and make sure there’s none I’ve missed lately.

  2. Sus says:

    So raw, Ms. Liz, and SO true. Thanks for sharing your heart (:
    Love,
    susanna

  3. thejazzywalk says:

    Liz,
    You wrote this so beautifully. I had seen some Facebook posts that gave me some clues as to what was going on in your family. I didn’t realize how deeply you have been affected. You most definitely are no robot 🙂 Love you, girl!

  4. thejazzywalk says:

    P.S. My last blog post–receive it as a little gift for your heart.

  5. Connie Brown says:

    Love this piece, Liz. You always clarify things we are all just thinking about. (When does this book come out?? 🙂

  6. Melissa says:

    Love you LizMay! We will all be praying for all the anguish those dear ones are experiencing. Please keep writing- your words make windows.

  7. N&J says:

    Love you mom. We will see Joanna and Catherine and Help in Heaven!

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