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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Failure To Thrive

The story goes that among the cribs in a nursery of newborns that were unwanted and abandoned, only one baby on the very end seemed to thrive while the others failed. Doctors and nurses there were wondering why the baby on the end seemed to be thriving while the other motherless ones were not. Soon, it was observed the cleaning lady at night along with her duties had made it a habit of picking up the infant on the end, holding and rocking it in comfort, and generally caring for the baby as if her own.

We both knew the story well for many years and referred to it as a dramatic example of the power and effectiveness of simple love and affection expressed personally. We all respond positively and thrive when warm genuine nurturing and affection are expressed upon us as an individual. Even a touch can do so much. So, when she evoked this example as being representative of my consistent efforts to be affectionate by holding and touching her even when the advances were unwelcome and even rejected, I was deeply deeply moved as though a connection I had been pursuing for decades had finally been made. For the first time I felt the gulf between us finally had a bridge over deeply disturbed waters.


Time and experience in a relationship has a way of educating, maturing, and bringing to remembrance quite dispassionately to the conscious mind events of the past when this person and others have said or done deeply moving things which conflicting and contradictory evidence subsequently proves not genuine and insincere manipulation of my emotions. Half way across the bridge I am obliged to concede and acquiesce that my childlike readiness, willingness, and ability to believe and trust the face value of such deep sentiments was at best premature and that acting immediately upon it unwarranted. No one met me half way.


There was no follow through on her part. I told her she hurt me very very deeply. She knows, still, she does not really care and typically blamed me again for believing. She screams at me with greater and greater intensity. I feel betrayed, again. No one will know or care she tortures me this way in the hidden recesses of our private lives. They all love her. And I believed we loved each other, again too. I believed that I could constantly hold her and she would respond in time. Yes, it is a bitter and twisted dance: Come here. Go away. Don't leave me. Get out! Yes, I will indeed Go Away soon by any means because I can no longer endure the pain of my flesh being slowly repeatedly drawn and quartered and sawn asunder; bones ripped, broken, crushed. Still, the exquisite unrelenting breaking of the heart and crushing of the spirit ferments the water and blood into wine she will, in the end, be compelled to drain the cup of it. Somewhere the child weeps silently, alone, with silent screams.


Over the course of 23 years, I knew the nature of my serious oversight within six months and assumed the responsibility of making the best of a bad investment and to minimize losses. Over the course of 23 years one tends to jump at the chance to improve our lot in life, ignoring the pattern of futility and hoping for the best. Still, not even God can make people love Him or even acknowledge the nature of His existence. Who am I to deny the reality of this universal principle in my own life now? In faith, hope, and love I proceed with tragic ignorance into that place where angels will not go, God knows why, and even men tell me to stay out. Still, the abandoned baby weeps with greater and greater intensity until the eyes glaze over and that sad stoic resignation casts a shadow across the wet deserted face. Baby weeps silently alone, inside, knowing somehow the rest of his existence here will be a hidden grieving process of what might have been had she only loved him. Had there been more time, maybe. A thousand years in one day.