Friday, October 21, 2011

The Big Picture

Ever since Mike was made the Bishop of our ward, he's had unexpected conversations with all sorts of people.  It's as if by virtue of his calling, people feel they can speak with him candidly about anything and everything. He's still trying to get used to the strangeness of it all.

A couple of weeks ago, he had one such conversation with a mortuary co-worker.  On a middle of the night removal, he confided in Mike that his wife was leaving him.  She told him she had fallen out of love with him six years ago.  He was beyond devastated.  He wasn't sure how he could afford all of the expenses that come with a divorce, nor was he sure he'd even be able to see his children much with his crazy mortuary work schedule.  Not to mention, he was still in love with his wife, who wanted nothing more to do with him.  Mike didn't know what to do or to say to him, just tried his best to console him.

Mike got a call today from a friend at the mortuary saying they'd found him today, having committed suicide sometime in the early morning.  Mike called me, sick to his stomach and said that he had a feeling this was going to happen after their conversation that night, but he just didn't know what to do about it.

I didn't know him well, but I admit, I've sat here with tears rolling down my cheeks for this poor man who truly felt as though he had nothing left to live for.  I've felt the pull of suicide only once in my life. (I was already somewhat depressed, and when I got on birth control for the first time, it whacked me out!  I never actually considered suicide, but the thought of it (while on that medication) sat just fine with me, and I immediately knew I had to get off the pill or something bad could happen.)  That was enough to scare the bajeebers out of me, and since that time, no matter how depressed I get, I never sink that deep.

Lately, we've been more stressed out than ever.  Not knowing if or when work will come, not knowing if Mike will be able to find full-time work, not knowing what direction to look in (let alone go in), plus the imminent arrival of baby #6, a wife that doesn't have the energy nor the gumption to take care of menial household duties (you should see my kitchen.....), and a whole slew of people who are coming out of the woodwork, demanding the Bishop's time, compassion, help, and advice.  (I'm completely overwhelmed, and I'm a secondary figure in this whole scheme!)

Then came the news of Jay's suicide.  I've tried and tried to reflect upon all the positive things we have going for us, but they were too few, too far between--until now.  It's possible that if something doesn't pan out soon, we'll have to go through some painful legal channels, including losing Mike's business to a bankruptcy.  It's not a road we want to take, so we're doing everything we can to avoid that, however, even if we are forced to go that route, the things that really matter will not change.  Whether or not Mike has full-time work, we have a stable, part-time job that includes a roof over our heads, electricity in the walls, and heat in the air.  We have a home to come home to.  We have food on our table, though sometimes, it's pancakes or cold cereal for dinner.  We have a  happy, loving marriage.  We have healthy, happy, smart, amazing, faith-filled children who fill us with more joy than they can know, and they have parents who are doing their best to love them and teach them and help them to become whom they are meant to become.  In the grand scheme of things, we really do have it all, and I'm so thankful for it.  I just need to remember it more often.


Marcie said...

If I've pulled thoughts out of your head before, you just pulled them out of mine! I have been thinking so many of the same things lately - sometimes the struggle just gets so old, it's hard to keep an eye on the blessings we sometimes take for granted every day. I just have to watch the news for an evening and I am pulled sharply back to the reality that I have it pretty darn good in the things that matter.

MOMof8 said...

When in the middle of the struggle, it's so easy to get lost in it! You have truly been blessed with great perspective. I'm sorry that things are so poopy right now on the job front. I wish so much that we were in position to be able to help out. I will say that I am doing what I can from here by keeping you in my prayers. You and Mike are such a great example! I hope that you know how much you are loved!!