Monday, April 30, 2012

The Stone that Was Rejected...

I feel as though I have been a writing machine these last weeks, just not here in my own blogspace. The class in families and aging that I took this spring is drawing to a close--one more page to write to hit the minimum, and after a good night's sleep, I am convinced I'll pass the minimum. I was greeted this morning with a reinforcement of yesterday's Mass readings in the form of Robert Sylvester's blog on the Notre Dame Initiative on Spirituality in the Professions site: I have felt that rejection so strongly and so deeply in the past two years. It began with our failed adoption process with our young great-nephews. Our family counselor projected the likelihood of failure based on their history and our--we were coming from two extremes toward one another. In the end, the story that our counselor helped us to write to understand the situation and to mitigate our overwhelming sadness and sense of failure has become the truth. That statement is misleading, in that I believe firmly it was the truth all along, but the world was pressuring me to make it my fault and my failure. I was not the right stone. I was rejected by the builder. For another time, for another situation, I am the cornerstone. From the failed adoption my life moved right into another failure, one that I shared a part but did not call my own. My mother's fading health and mental capacity, coupled with her failure to initiate Medicare Part B coverage in a timely manner from the time of her retirement date created a scenario which left me feeling hopeless, lost and at fault for my mother's illness. I didn't press her enough, I didn't care enough to force her to the doctor, I didn't take her back for her annual checkup. I didn't. She didn't either, and I don't hold blame for her. I don't hold blame for myself either. As a dear friend who has known great loss, and found great joy in its wake has reassured me, "It is what it is." The failings were amplified by my employment experience at the time. I did not fit the unspoken expectations. I was assured I was meeting the bar only later to be told it was a ploy to encourage and summon better performance. I can blame, I can gnash, I can snarl, I can strike back. I can accept: I am the stone rejected by the builder. I will be the cornerstone. I have had colleagues tell me that I had no support, was given no direction, was offered no help. That is not completely true. I had all the support I needed. I had the perfect directions. I was enveloped in help. The source was not my employer. I thank God and the love of Christ for taking my hand through the storm and for seeing me to safety. In all of this, at the very center core I have found forgiveness. I have offered forgiveness to others. I have forgiven. In what I view at the aftermath, one year later, I have found the direction I need and will be sustained in all that I do. I continue to learn. I continue to contribute. I continue to pray. I continue to love. I am the cornerstone.

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