Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I wish I knew with certainty the right thing to do; to think, to say, where this trouble of economics comes to bear. When two of the adults I am closest to are feeling ceaselessly crushed under the weight of worry, and no mere comfort from me can answer. Am I wrong to cling to my job, the place and people I also love, while I am still able? Am I wrong to refuse to give up my home and job and church before I must, in order to flee from a disaster that hasn't happened yet? My husband's job -- will he hold onto it, or will he be laid off. He wants to leave town, now, before the question is answered. Meanwhile, my friend can't make ends meet, regardless of how she tries or how much patchwork assistance we're able to find. Am I wrong to offer financial assistance, the little that I can, knowing my husband is so concerned about the future, knowing she feels badly about taking help? Is it wrong to ask questions, nose into it, give advice? If I give up everything I love to follow my husband to Winnipeg or some such, I'm giving her up as well. What does he think of that? How could she follow? He doesn't think of it, I'm sure. In his life, leaving everything behind is familiar, and could even seem safer to him than riding out the storm in hope of a good outcome. It's all he did as a child, get dragged from place to place. And for her, this loneliness of being desperately in need might not seem unfamiliar enough either -- being in need and feeling there's no one who will care what happens. I'm not sure it isn't part of her larger struggle in life. So shouldn't I, rather than give in to apparent circumstance, rather than lose out to psychology, shouldn't I try to hold fast? Shouldn't I try to help and comfort, knowing nothing about the future -- knowing only that it's wrong to let the bastards bring you down. I'm afraid that right now they both, in their way, are positioning themselves in front of the imaginary firing squad --

-- the unavoidable doom, the unsurvivable loss. Except that I know that even the worst can be survived. And what we face together is not the worst. It's economics, it's security and the loss of security, possibly, but we have still the things we love that are worth fighting for. So you have to fight. Don't you? Don't you have to resist, and be hopeful, and try to be smart without giving up?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fear makes the most illogical sound logical. He's seems to be using the economy as an excuse to run - and until he figures out exactly what he is running from, there will always be an excuse to do it. The end result will be in starting new after the job ends, if it even does end. So why is starting new in Canada so much better than starting new here? If he can start new there, what is stopping him from starting new here? I don't think you are wrong to care about your friend.

Jennifer A. Schultz said...

Thanks for the feedback, Anon. Sometimes it's difficult to find enough distance from relational problem to see it clearly without feeling hopelessly insensitive. Others' perspectives are helpful. Bless ya.

Anonymous said...

Just keep in mind that your little one is being affected by the fear of it all, too. Give in to the fear and you teach him that the fear is more important than he is. The fear will create distance between his dad and him and running away will only validate that it is ok to not have that intimacy with the kid. Deal with whatever is bugging dad to to core in a healthier manner besides drinking and running, and you teach the kid something important, too - that it is ok to bond with his dad in a deeper level than is allowed at the current time. You also teach him that he is more important than the demons because more quality time will be given to him, instead of giving it to them. He can't get that intimacy when the demons keep getting in the way.