The other day I was restless. It was around 3am and I was wide awake. I couldn't help but feel uneasy. Something was changing around me. It was on this day that I looked into the face of my Gram but her eyes were vacant. She’s 79 and is in the beginning stages of dementia. I know what’s happening but still I say to her “Grandmom, why are you staring like that?” She looks at me and, for the moment, she’s back. She says “I don’t know” and follows it up with “This is what happens when you get old.” We laugh, go about our visit but I was haunted by that look. I know the truth is that she’s slipping away and there is nothing I can do about it.
When someone you love that much becomes less and less themselves, everyday is a tiny loss. There is a certain sadness that comes with watching someone or something fall apart. There is a feeling of defeat when you are powerless to control the outcome. I live by the mantra “it is what it is” but secretly I wonder “why does it have to be this way?”
The resounding echo of that question does not escape my thoughts, even as I participate in what is supposed to be mindless entertainment. I have been amazed at how human nature plays out in the blogosphere and, frankly, appalled at some of the behavior I’ve seen adults engage in. Anger, blame, feuds, personal attacks…stick around for a month and you’ll see it all in the Gosselin blogosphere from both sides. The sides are quick to point out the flaws in the others. We as a collective group of bloggers (again on both sides) are quick to dismiss and discredit. Marian Wright Edelman said “whenever two good people argue over principals, they are both right.” Are we good people? Is our character intact?
I know in the past I’ve been guilty of disregarding the feelings of others. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of. On the other hand I don’t regret that there has been conflict. I’ve learned so much from ‘debate’ and argument. In my view, conflict can be the catalyst of thought and imagination. It’s just that sometimes things go too far. Why? Why does it have to be this way?
As more time passes, I view the Gosselin situation in the way I view my gram’s condition. I don’t like it, I don’t want a family to be torn apart. At the end of the day, though, there is nothing I can do about it. The only thing we have control over is how we treat others in our pursuit of entertainment (or whatever the motivation for blogging may be). For certain, people on the opposite side of your views may dislike you. That’s not always easy (especially for someone like me who isn’t used to being disliked)…but “it is what it is.” I just wonder, can it be any different ever?