10.29.2018

weight of the world

October has been, in great part, kind of miserable for me and my son—grand mals mark up my calendar dates in orange highlighter; too many blue squares represent partial ones. My son has seized on nearly half of this October's days. He hasn't had a month this bad since January.

Again, I ask myself all of the pertinent whys. Again, I spend long, monotonous days nursing a sick kid. Again, I grieve the loss of a healthy, typical child. Still, I am grateful for our privilege and fortune, for our nation, our home, Michael's job, our food, our drink, our relative health.

Outside these four walls the world seizes. A journalist is brutally murdered in his nation's embassy abroad. Innocents are starving to death in Yemen from a famine aggravated by Saudi attacks using weapons we supply. Central American refugees are fleeing poverty, rape and homicide in search of a better life. Homemade bombs are sent to prominent democrats—People of Color, vilified women, and former presidents. Two African Americans were shot while trying to shop at a grocery store. Jewish friends are once again made into scapegoats. Tree of Life synagogue was shot up by an anti-Semite. Eleven people dead. The list of innocent men, women and children maligned and murdered for the color of their skin or their religion continues to rise. Some conservative White Christians sit back and bristle at the thought of their political leaders and pundits being confronted and harassed at restaurants, while never seeming to flinch at the oppression, abuse and murder of marginalized Americans by domestic right-wing terrorists and White supremacists.

The anti-Semitic shooter gunned down two intellectually disabled brothers—the innocent of innocents, the purest of the pure—reminding me of the first victims of the Holocaust who were people like my son Calvin: the intellectually disabled, the infirm. I hear too many Americans grouse about athletes kneeling during the so-called national anthem. I see too many efforts to suppress the votes of minorities. I watch videos of White women calling the police on Black Americans who are minding their own business mowing lawns, swimming, barbecuing, shopping, entering their own goddamn homes. It angers me, this continued harassment, abuse and disenfranchisement of my fellow Americans who work their asses off, pay their taxes, live good lives. They're far better men and women than many of these politicians are.

Sometimes I wonder if Calvin's seizures are—like the gravity of a full moon—triggered by the weight of the world. I wonder if they'll ever stop, or if they'll keep marching right through. With his and others' suffering in mind, I scour the internet for images of Yemen. I find the photo below. I think to myself what we all should be thinking—this could be my child.


Photo by Abduljabbar Zeyad/Reuters

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