Well, it seems that the ego was running rampant here in my house for a while <sigh>.
Last night I received an email from a gal, Allison, whom I had mentioned dating Josh in my book, “Taming Josh’s Dragon”. What a wonderful, uplifting communication that was, with perfect timing! She recalled that we had spoken during Josh’s funeral (23 years ago) and I had said how special going to the Valentine’s dance with her was to him. She was his one and only date of an entire lifetime. Honestly, I don’t remember too much during the extremely stressful time surrounding his funeral, but I am very grateful that she recalls our conversation.
I’ve also received wonderful, glowing comments from classmates, friends and relatives, quite similar to the above, on Facebook, in person, and even in personal, handwritten cards and letters! How rewarding to hear that others appreciate our story and feel that it was well-written. After eight long years of working on this joyful/painful project, towards the end I no longer had any perspective on how I was doing.
A longtime friend a couple months ago thanked me and told me that our story gave her a picture from a very different viewpoint resulting in deeper understanding and respect for her own mom. Her mom had lost a baby boy before my friend was even born. The baby was ill, in the hospital and apparently suffered a medication error. He did not survive. I just can’t imagine how this traumatic experience must have been. How is it possible to bounce back from such a thing? It had negatively affected her mom for the rest of her life, but my friend better understood what her mom had experienced and lived with every single day for the rest of her life.
I’ve recently spoken to my niece who, God Bless her, has gradually turned her life around over the past several years. She has been in search of beliefs and faith that would support and allow her to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. She found just that, and stated that as she read “Taming Josh’s Dragon” she came to a sudden realization. This centered specifically on the part describing how, after my deep personal tragedy, I somehow needed to, and had to, reinvent myself. I needed a new focus in my life. It was another piece to her puzzle; this absolutely resonated with her current needs. I was so grateful for her comments and realized that this book could be helpful not only for transplant recipients or those with a terminally ill child, but also those who are struggling with any personal challenge.
Well, back to my wild and crazy ego experience. I guess I just have to be put in my place sometimes and not allow my pride and ego to take over. I need to see things from another perspective. Here’s what this is about:
Some people close to me who in my opinion, loved me as an integral part of my new family deserved to know about a certain substantial part of my life that took place before we even met. I believed they would want to know. Or more accurately, I wanted them to know about Josh, his life, our joys and challenges as well as our highs and lows. I knew they would appreciate our trials, our love, and have some sympathetic and perhaps enlightening comments and observations.
Hear those crickets?
The scarcity of input in was in stark contrast to what to what I’d already been hearing from so many others. This greatly minimized, in my mind, the massive importance of my child’s life in my own. I felt slighted. I felt insulted. I was profoundly hurt. I didn’t understand and didn’t think I ever would. I doubted whether some had read it in its entirety or even read it at all. Do these people actually scorn me? What the heck was this about? Why was I allowing this to weigh so heavily on me? I don’t believe I ever mistreated any of them. I only hold different beliefs which they do not understand and/or perhaps can’t accept. All this in spite of the fact that we all believe in the same loving, understanding and forgiving God.
After much discomfort and deep reflection, I finally came to realize that this was most likely due to my statements about how this book came to be. Who motivated me and how was this motivation for “Taming Josh’s Dragon” driven? My faith and belief in a loving, accepting and eternally teaching God were being put to the test. This was a Life Lesson for me although I didn’t recognize it at the time.
If I were Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, etc., would they still feel resentful or misunderstand (from my own perhaps inaccurate view)? I can’t live according to others’ beliefs and had to hope that if I was kind and understanding they would eventually come to accept and respect me. And so, I tossed around the subject of this specific blog and wondered how it might be received. Obviously, I decided to do what I felt was the right thing. For me.
I had thought long and hard prior to my book being published about including this frequently controversial belief system, Spirituality, and wondered if it would be accepted. Would some entirely miss the whole point of the book, being distracted by that single fact? Should I? Shouldn’t I? At the end of the day, it was my truth and I had the obligation to myself and my tattered soul to state it as I deeply felt it. It is how I live. I have to take the High Road as sometimes the other option is too crowded.