However, it is also a post about making plans, and what happens when those well-made plans fall apart.
I imagine Veronique’s story may scare some. But to me, it is inspirational. We often find ourselves in situations we could not have envisioned. Veronique finds herself as the mother of a large family. I find myself doing something for my job that wasn’t ever on the radar, not even remotely.
My “plans” were probably as planned as Veronique’s, which is to say, not at all. Furthermore, my plans were boring. I had ideas about work and family that were entirely conventional.
The thing with family is we’ve learned to think it’s optional. We don’t need help, parents, siblings, spouses or children. We want them, many of us, but then, only when we really want them. Aka, not when it’s inconvenient. In varying degrees, family is always inconvenient. And this is true of many meaningful acts, the most meaningful acts. A pastor once challenged all of us to make sure we took time to smile, speak, buy a meal for homeless people on our way to wherever we were going. His point was that the moments when one is wandering around the downtown core with volunteerism on the mind having allotted the appropriate time are very rare. You have to choose to help in the moment when it is needed, when someone is before you, or not at all. Pretty soon you look a whole lot like one Ebenezer Scrooge asking if there aren’t any prisons or workhouses about for someone else to do the caring.
Learning to care about anyone at all starts in a family, where the care is compulsory either because these are your children or because this is your spouse and you signed on the dotted line for a lifetime, or because these are your parents who raised you and sacrificed for you. One of my greatest fears is that even in the family we now outsource so much that we have lost that sense of obligatory care, which means in short order we will lose all care.
I think I’m rambling now. Go read Veronique’s post.