We’re All Confused Children That Need Help

I’m not old. I’m only 28, soon to be 29. And while my sense of humor may suggest otherwise, I’m not (and I don’t feel like) a child—at least not usually. For me, and for all of us I assume, there are moments in life that the inexplicable happens, moments where our limited experience in this thing we called existence leaves us unprepared or incapable of understanding the pain and confusion that surrounds us.

For My Wife It Was Five Years Ago This Sunday

We had only been dating a couple of months. I will never forget the moment she heard the news. We were driving in her car along a windy road. It was night. It was dark. She received a phone call and, being overcome with emotion, had to pull over. She stepped outside and started pacing in front of the car, back and forth, cutting through the glow of her headlights. I stayed inside. I wanted to give her some space. From the call I knew that someone had died but I didn’t know who. After she hung up the phone she collapsed in the street. I ran to her. I sat on the pavement with her. When she had recomposed a bit we got back into her car. I drove. I kept my eyes on the road as she whimpered in the passenger seat. Her father had died. He was young too.

We spent that night on the couch. Me sitting up, awake, comforting her in any way I could (there was no real way to comfort her), and her laying on my knee. She would sporadically wake up, cry, and then fall asleep again. Her tears wet my jeans.

It was then that I knew I loved her—which surprised me. Despite only knowing her for a matter of months I knew that if she were to ever experience something as heart-wrenching or confusing as this again, I wanted to be the one to comfort her. It may have been the only thing I knew in that moment but I knew, like I know the sun will rise each morning, that if the frustration and pain of the world left her defenseless, like a child, I wanted to be her defense. As weak and pathetic as I am, I wanted to protect her, to care for her.

For My Two-Year-Old Daughter It Was Yesterday

It was around 3:15 in the morning when my wife and I heard the small, confused voice of our small child. “Mommy, mommy, help.” She had thrown up in her crib. We had just gotten over a 24-hour bug and now she had it. If I could make it so, I would have a world where children never get ill. They don’t understand it. Their experience rejects it. Never have I felt more helpless than when my little girl is sick or sad. Never have I loved her more.

Throughout the night she would jump to her knees and cry out “mommy” or “daddy.” We’d hold a small metal bowl in front of her and she would throw up it in again and again. After she’d finished she’d curl up in a ball. She took turns snuggling up so close to my wife and I that we were nearly falling off the bed. We didn’t sleep. She never cried. She handled it like a champ but I could tell she was sad. Her eyes betrayed her sweet nature. She was frightened and no “It’s going to be okay” or “I love you” spoken softly by my wife or I chased the pains in her stomach away.

The first real food she ate was a small piece of a banana. As she was chewing it she said, “oh mommy, it tastes so good.” She threw it up. At dinner she begged and begged for some bread. We finally caved in and gave her a small piece. She ate it like the characters in the movies, who have not had a meal in a long time, eat their food.

This morning she woke up at 6:00. She felt better. She wouldn’t stop talking about food. Like a little hobbit she was listing everything she wanted to eat: milk, bread with jam, scrambled eggs, tomatoes. It broke my heart to hear it. She didn’t understand why she had to go hungry for so long. My saint of a wife made her a feast of all her requested food. She devoured it.

For Me It’s Every Time…

For me I feel lost, confused, and in pain every time I’m called to be the protector, the defender, the care-giver to someone else who is scared and unsure. I feel like a child when my own wife or daughter need me to be a man, an adult. It’s then that my experience fails me. It’s then that my existence comes full circle. And then that I’m grateful to know that I, too, am a lost child. I’m grateful to know I have a Heavenly Father that knows how to comfort me, protect me, care for me.

Who or what has helped you when you’re confused or in pain?


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8 thoughts on “We’re All Confused Children That Need Help

  1. Jani says:

    Sweet sweet post. Rinda and Claire are lucky to have you, as well as Abigail.

  2. Lianna says:

    Beautiful post. As a wife and a new parent I identify. You sound like you’re doing the best you can and that’s all we can do. It is a beautiful thing, to be a persons comforter, to have people rely on you so deeply. It takes more guts than you’d think.

    • Thanks for commenting Lianna. You aint kidding about it taking guts. I think the real challenge is just constantly trying to do our best, not falling into mediocrity, and when we do, picking ourselves up.

      The good news is that I definitely find comfort in comforting. Being able to comfort others (even if in the smallest way) really is a wonderful way to feel at ease.

  3. nealcall says:

    Dude, I don’t think I even knew you had a blog. But this is really, really good stuff. And I totally identify. There’s something that completely overwhelms me about being expected to lift my wife or daughter when they desperately need comfort, when they need someone with strength, or with answers. Sometimes all they need is someone with patience, who can listen, and I often don’t do those right either. But at the same time that I feel the great weight of my own inadequacy, there’s something powerful about it as well, because the dichotomy between my love for my family and my weakness in caring for them spurs me to try to be a better person, to (try to) be the husband and father they need. It seems to me that one of the most difficult and profound things about life is recognizing the infinite gap between ourselves and what we need to be, and yet still trying to achieve it. Mind-trip territory, is. Or mind-expanding. Or something.

    • Neal, how are you? It’s been a while. Thank you so much for your comment. It was great.

      There IS something wonderfully powerful (and scary) about being able to sense and respond to our own inadequacy—it’s true. Even if it’s very hard, it’s true.

      This time of year (and all throughout the year to be honest) I often think about the song the Drummer Boy. I feel very much like its protagonist. “I have no gift to bring,” and so “I play my best.” The great thing is that somehow The Lord always makes “my best” enough. That’s pretty incredible.

      Making sure I am always doing my best is the challenge. My family deserves it and I too often fail them. The relationship between who we are and who we want to be really does define us.

      I appreciate your words. They made me think even deeper about this topic. Thank you. Best to you and your family.

  4. veronica says:

    Hi everyone i will never forget the help the drorrriwo Shrine render to me in my marital life. i have been married for 4 years now and my husband and i love each other very dearly . after 3 years of our marriage my husband suddenly change he was having an affair with a lady outside,i notice it then i was praying for divine intervention the thing became more serious i told my pastor about it we prayed but nothing happen. my husband just came home one day he pick up his things and left me and the kids to his mistress outside at this time i was confuse not knowing what to do again because i have lost my husband and my marriage too. i was just checking my mails in the office when i saw someone sharing her testimony on how the drorriwo help her out with her marital problems so i contacted the email of drorriwo. I told he my problem and i was told to be calm that i have come to the right place that i should fill some information concerning my self i did after some time she called me again congratulating me that my problems will be solve within 13days. he told me what went wrong with my husband and how it happen. that they will restored my marriage but i will make a free donation to their Shrine anything my heart told me. to my greatest surprise my husband came to my office begging me on his knees that i should find a place in my heart to forgive him i quickly ask him up that i have forgiven him.friends your case is not too hard why don’t you give drorriwo a trier he powewerful and kind. i know he will also bring back your husband. i promise to keep sharing he good work any time i’m on the internet. when ever i come accros a forum like this, i always share the testimony. contact he via drorriwo@gmail.com..am veronica

  5. Jamie Imm says:

    Thank you for sharing! Often, we learn as we act. Sometimes, we don’t know what we’re going to do to handle the next frown that tugs on our heart. The most important thing to do, is be there, love will follow and so will answers:)(:

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