Monday, April 15, 2013

Light in the Face of Darkness

Like most people in the US tonight, I am struck with shock and sadness over the events in Boston earlier today. It is horrifying to witness innocent people become victims of senseless violence like that of the bombs that exploded near the finish of the Boston marathon, killing some and severely injuring many more. Throughout the day, I have seen and heard many statements of despair at living in, and trying to bring children into, a world that holds such cruelty. Events like these are the types that often cause people to lose their faith in humanity, but I have seen something else too- displays of hope, caring and compassion. While there are certainly countless reports of tragedy, and I fear there will be more in the days to come, there is also great evidence of kindness and behavior that exemplifies the very best of humanity. 

I am sure many of you have heard the reports of marathon runners, who, upon learning of the blasts, kept right on running until they reached the nearest hospitals to donate blood. Or maybe you have heard about the local Boston residents who opened their hearts and their homes to provide those displaced with a bite to eat and a place to rest. And of course, you know that the very instant the first explosion happened, bystanders, firefighters and police officers nearby rushed to the aid of the injured without a second's hesitation. The most beautiful quote I have seen circulating today is this one from the late Fred Rogers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Mr. Rogers and his mother were certainly right about the amazing and inspiring side of the helpers in the face of tragedy. As I thought it over tonight, I realized it was not just the tragedy of horrible events such as those in Boston, that these beautiful words apply to. 

While I in no way aim to compare the deplorable and heinous violence committed in Boston, or any other act of terror, I do believe that infertility is undeniably tragic for those who suffer it. And just as brave men and women have showcased the best side of humanity in Boston and across the globe through their eagerness to help, it was my battle with infertility and experience with miscarriage that showed me that most people truly are compassionate and caring at their core. Yes, there will be those that will use this tragic news to further their own selfish agendas or who will carelessly diminish the pain and loss experienced, just as there are those who will insist that infertility sufferers were never meant to have children along with any other number of hurtful, negative things. But there are far more people rushing to donate to the Red Cross, offering a couch to crash on or a shoulder to lean on. Most importantly, there are more "I love you's" being shared than messages of hate. When people are at their lowest, their most vulnerable, the realization of what and who matters becomes undeniable. I know that so many people are holding their loved ones tightly tonight and making sure that they know just how much they are loved.

And that is what I took away from experience with the outside world when I finally shared my struggle with infertility. For every anonymous "you are so selfish for doing IVF", there was an entire supportive chorus of "we are here for you". For every thoughtless question or careless comment there was a twitter pal, or a blog reader virtually squeezing my hand to remind me that I was not alone. For every heartbreak, there was a friend or a family member offering a hug to let me know that no matter how broken I was, I was always loved. In the darkest moments of my life, it was the helpers that showed me the light, and it is the caring people, the helpers, in Boston that remind us all of the light that will continue to thrive in our world no matter what evil may try to extinguish it. That is the world I am so grateful to be raising my daughter to be a part of.


All of the Bitter, None of the Betty said...

What an amazing post, it really touched me this morning. Thank you for sharing!

Em said...

I have never heard that particular quote from Fred Rogers. What a wise statement. Thanks for sharing it along with the rest of your post.