Thursday, February 09, 2012

On Gilda and the unfairness of life

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner
One of the lessons we try to teach our kids, time and again, is that life isn't fair. As much as we want to cushion them from the bumps and bruises of life, it gets harder to do that as they grow and expand their sphere of influence. They're tough, smart, sensitive kids, so I know they'll ultimately figure it out. But seeing them slowly emerge from the cocoon of their younger years, where life was infinitely more predictable, isn't always easy.

We want to reach in and fix everything, just like we did when they were a lot smaller. But sometimes, we have to sit back and let it play out as it's meant to. Even if the outcome can't be tied up in a pretty little bow.

I'm guessing it'll make them stronger adults, because they'll be far more in tune with the world around them than they might have been had mommy and daddy swooped in every time a rogue wave rolled over them. I'm guessing this is how they learn to truly live. Perhaps Gilda was right, after all.

Your turn: Was she?


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Gilda was right and so are you... Life isn't fair, and I think if everything did go right, would we have learned anything? Would we appreciate it as much? either for what we have or not have? Life is about lessons.. I've learned you have to have the bad and the good otherwise we won't know how good we do have it.

Cloudia said...

one of the gifts of having 'un-nurturing' parents was that I had to rely on myself and reach out to God. Sounds like you have the right balance, cousin

Warm Aloha from Waikiki
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The Fabulous Ms M. said...

Interesting spin and true. Personally I find that life is a bit of extremes... a rose with thorns. beautiful but not always fair. worth having? definitely. And even as adults we never stop learning lessons. that's what makes it all so much fun. : )

Judy Schwartz Haley | CoffeeJitters.Net said...

Yes, I think she is right. I think that's part of what make's life precious. If life was just a blue-print we followed from beginning to end, it would lose its spark - its "life"

Like Gilda, I've got cancer; I also have a two year old daughter.

I do wish I knew for sure that I would be able to see her into adulthood. But I also think that the not knowing makes me pay attention to each moment with her - moments I might otherwise overlook. The fragility of life is precisely why we cherish life.