Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reality Check....

Well, so much for me maintaining bloggy silence today eh?
But I just read this post by Dan Olmsted. And I just HAVE to get a few things out - To-Do-List be damned.

Is Mr. Olmsted's post very gloomy? Yes
Do I hope and pray that none of things he lists will come to pass? Yes
But could all that he lists come to pass? Yes

I have endless admiration for the warrior moms and dads out there that are 'Hill stormers', 'sh1t raisers', 'representative harassers', 'outspoken advocates', etc. etc. etc. What they do and how they do it is oh, so necessary.

And I so cannot be one of them.

I get all the Action Alert emails, some days there are four or five of them. And I want to take the actions asked for. And when it involves letter or email writing, I do.

But anything else? The 'make calls', the 'visit your rep', the 'prepare briefing packages', the 'organize grassroots action teams in your home'? I just can't.

And I do carry a lot of guilt over that.

And I have endless admiration for those (several of them are dear friends) who can, and do, and will. On top of everything else they have going on.

For me, what Mr. Olmsted describes feeds directly into my 'I can't spend half or more of my days on letter writing, calling campaigns, visiting my reps, preparing briefing packages, attend grassroots meetings.' issues. What IF all that amazing 'hell raising' activist work that's being done is not making one iota of a difference (pessimistic view? Perhaps.. Realistic view? I think so)???

I have made a deliberate choice to spend my time where -I- think I can make the most difference - on getting MY kids well, on getting MY kids to a point that they can lead happy, productive, independent lives. And I know that all those amazing activists out there work on exactly that too. But me, I cannot commit to AND getting MY kids well AND raise holy hell. I will end up doing both things half-assed.

And I can, no I WILL NOT, do a half-assed job for my kids (and again, I know several amazing activists out there who appear to be able to do both extremely well).

And I being selfish? Possible
Am I being a 'coward'? Possible.
Do I like the right 'warrior spirit'? Possible
Do I just don't care about all the kids that are suffering, about the 'new' kids that are getting diagnosed every single day? So UNTRUE.

Let's just say that I know my limits.

What I can do, what I WILL do, is to continue to share my boys' stories; of what happened to them, how I figured things out, and what it took and is taking to get them better, where they were and where they are now.

I will share here on the blog, and in conversation anywhere I go.

And over the years, I have noticed that more folks are starting to pay attention. They may not believe it all, they may not be ready to commit, but listening and paying attention they are. And some make small changes, some make big changes, some do more research, some pass my stories on to others.

And I guess that's the brand of activism I'm comfortable with, that I do best.

As at the end of the day, when it's my time to move on, I want to be able to look at my boys and their families (however they chose to build their own families) and say "I played a part in that."

So to all of you amazing, incredible, powerful, dedicated 'hell raiser' activists out there - keep doing what you're doing for as long as you are able to. And forgive me for only doing something with maybe every 6th or 7th 'action alert' that comes my way.

And if you deem me selfish, not a 'warrior mother', not 'commited to The Cause enough', or a 'coward' for that, so be it.

3 Comments:

At 11:02 AM, February 10, 2009 , Blogger webmaster said...

Petra, don't feel any guilt. There is a place - a role - for all of us. There are some awesome people raising hell on the Hill. That is their calling and they are taking it. They are using their skills and their passions in that direction. There are some awesome people like you documenting your journeys in such amazing detail and with such passion that they serve as a mighty resource for many, many families and will continue to serve as a resource as new families come into this universe. You have the gift of writing, and you are using it for advocacy. And I like to believe that what I'm doing at Lend4Health is part of the picture as well. It's all advocacy and it's all important. We each play our part, and there are thousands of others who are "in the fight" as well, even if all they do is help a struggling mom in the middle of a tantrum at a grocery store.

We don't have to be on the Hill or preparing briefing packages to be having an impact.

You're doing exactly what you are meant to be doing, and we ALL appreciate it so much!

Tori :)
www.lend4health.org

 
At 11:26 AM, February 10, 2009 , Blogger Petra said...

Ah shucks.. now I'm all teary eyed.

FUnny thing, your words echo what a neighbor (who is now rapidly becoming a friend) said to me yesterday..
Guess the Universe is speaking to me?

And yes, absolutely, L4H has a HUGE place in all of this. The word is spreading, and look what is happening...(and thx for letting me play an itty bitty part in it too).
[LOL.. I'm much better at seeing others' roles in the grand scheme of things than my own..]

And yes too, on the tantrum thing..Not that long ago, I met a mom in my local grocery store who's LARGE teenage son had climbed into the cooler section and was sniffing all the OJ packages. Poor woman had this frantic/embarrased look on her face. I walked over and said 'those OJ packages sure smell good, don't they. My son used to lick trees. Would take us hours just to walk through an area with 5 or 6 trees."

The look of relief on her face, the sigh that escaped her.. I cannot describe it.

Empathy, tolerance, don't judge, don't jump to conclusions. BIG LESSONS this journey has taught me.

 
At 11:51 AM, February 10, 2009 , Blogger K Fuller said...

Petra,
What you do here on your blog is a huge contribution.
It is also very difficult for me to get out there in person or on the phone to politicians etc. But, I can write a mean letter and send many letters and emails. Sometimes my husband has to edit out what might be perceived as threats!haha
Doing what you do for your kids will enable them to lead the life they were meant to lead and possibly be the change for the world that is needed. Every single contribution counts.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home