For years now I've longed for simple. A simple life - one where struggle was a thing of the past. This morning I ask myself if that is even possible. We struggle from the moment we are conceived...that fertilized egg struggles to find a safe place in the womb of our mothers, and then depending on what life has in store for us we either thrive and grow strong so that we can scream that cry of life's first breath or we don't survive the gestation for whatever reason, and never know what oxygen feels like in our lungs.
Far from simple.
The foundation we come into this world is filled with the beauty of struggle - surviving. I tell my sons that when a person has struggled and fought to survive, they can appreciate the awesome peace there is when in the quiet moments a burning sunset can bring a tear to a heart.
I guess it's one of those morning where as I sip my coffee my mind wanders off into these deep thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one that does things like that, and other times I am sure we all have them, it's just we don't all express them.
Even the things that bring me joy, and I love are far from simple.
I love my job. I love telling the stories hidden within my community. I especially love to tell the ones that I am sure will move others to tears...those are the ones I know will last in the minds of the readers. I even enjoy exposing the wrongs, because...and I would be a liar if I didn't admit this....exposing the wrongs sets the stage for change. You can't turn back and keep sweeping under a carpet once that carpet has been replaced by a bright white tiled floor.
However, there's a flip side to all of that...the part of my job that I find I cringe about is, knowing that while doing what I love...telling those stories...exposing the truths...someone out there can suffer the struggle of life not being so simple.
This past week I exposed one of those stories. So very complex, filled with the emotional flaws that make us all human. Filled with the mistakes emotional beings make out of their desire to make a complicated life ..simple. That landslide which happens when we don't want to face our own reflections in the mirror because it is too painful. In one story, one article there were numerous stories told...some glanced over, others in more details...but a compilation of the not so simple choices made by many on their road to surviving life.
The article was about a grandmother's struggle in reclaiming her family, her granddaughter from foster care. An almost two year battle, and one where that innocent child was the focus...the bonding force in all these lives struggling. From the teen mother who had her child taken away, the grandmother crying for her legacy - while also attempting to right the wrongs of a past - to Sheriff Department employees trying to fill the holes in their lives by wanting to either help someone else...one of them.. claim...adopt ...the baby to being the one so wanting to love a child, they violated confidentiality and they made moves forward in claiming her.
So many stories within one little article in the paper. So many pains, and life's struggles highlighted...
Then there was the one, while it needed to be told, was hard for me to tell it.... The social worker who originally placed that child into foster care, was also at the time caught up in a relationship where she was the victim of domestic violence. While she was making judgment calls on other peoples' character, her own was being shattered by an abuser she obviously loved.
One small article I wrote this week highlighted the depths of the female soul and heart. The struggles a woman's heart has, and the choices we make when in pain striving for a less complicated, more simple life.
So yes, while it exposed people in their professional capacity not doing the job tax payer's hired them to do, or failing in their duties, it also exposed just how flawed we all are...our common bond -
It was painful to write it...and even more painful was that not all of the story has yet to be told...our little paper has only so much room.
But I knew the pain the grandmother had in her heart, I saw her tears flow as she showed me the documents that laid out the surface of the story.
Being a mother and knowing how healing the love of a child can be, I understood why that sheriff employee would risk a career in search of a child she could love for herself...
I understood why that other employee wanted to help her friend, it would make her own life serve purpose...
And then, that social worker, while all of this happened probably at one of the most weakest times in her life, I could understand why she was in the profession she chose...she didn't want anyone else to know what the pain of a victim felt like - I get that, I know that feeling well.
All the flaws, all the strengths ...all the mistakes that a woman's heart makes in search of love - healing love that makes all the complexities of life a little easier to deal with.
I will tell you right now, that if a reporter ever tells you that stories they write do not get to them, they are lying - there's no way to write a piece about human life where it doesn't get to the writer. In the articles facts are laid out....there's no opinion there, those are what they are - but behind every fact is the human experience - and that is the story that a reporter can't always tell -
So while I love my job, the one that allows me to somewhat provide for my children and keep us as secure as one parent can.... it's not always as simple as it may appear. Much like life, the beauty doesn't come without first a struggle to survive. Also much like the life so far of the innocent child who was that bonding force in the lives of all the individuals in that article...her life has started off with struggles, I hope one day that those struggles give way to beauty that we all can appreciate.
I am reminded of a poem I wrote a couple of years back....the article I wrote this week made me think of it again - not the best, but on target for the most part....(yes, sometimes my sarcasm gives way to deep poetic attempts - LOL )
Lyrics of a woman's soul
They say a woman's heart has a bittersweet story to tell
A life lived, loves lost, and joys stored in a dream's well
The notes of her song captured in the lines of her face
A country ballad, a jazzy mix, all genres fall into place
The innocence of a childhood filled with fairies, and a prince
Perhaps innocence stolen makes her stomach churn..and wince
A teddy cuddled to the sweetness of that first shared kiss
A budding women growing while dreaming of love's sweet bliss
Then there's the heartaches her song still knows and softly sings
Forever a part of her are the memories those notes still bring
Balanced by the joys, smiles, and laughter her eyes have cried
Bitter, and sweet together they tell her story ...the one she's survived
At times you'll see her sit quietly, and with a subtle gentle grace
It's in those moments she's remembering pasts her heart's embraced
Whether the tune her eyes sings is swiftly fast or tenderly slow
If you observe... and listen closely.. you will hear the lyrics of her soul
by Eva Marie November 9, 2008