I believe in whining. After all, even Ecclesiastes said there’s a season for every purpose. Which includes whining during hard times.
For me, the last several months has been a hard time—a time to weep, to mourn, to break down, to rend, which means to tear or pull your clothes or hair out from rage, frustration and grief.
Two weeks before Christmas, my mother died. Although grateful she was free from pain, it’s hard to lose her love. Almost until her last breath, she asked if I’d eaten or if I wanted the pudding on her meal tray.
In January of the New Year, I was shocked when my husband with no discussion canceled my life, health, and dental insurance.
In March, my left eye was removed to save what eyesight that’s left in my other eye (I’m legally blind), a surgery I’d feared. But I was comforted when my son was able to care for me until I recovered enough to go home. Three months later, I was fitted with a prosthetic eye.
Also in March, my PhD application to the University of Utah was rejected: another big loss as I really wanted to do research in neuroscience and racism.
After years of not playing my beloved violin because I couldn’t see sheet music anymore, I took up “fiddling” (playing by ear or memorizing tunes) and this year, began playing gigs at elderly and other community venues with a wonderful Utah fiddling organization. But in August, elbow tendonitis set in so I’ve had to drastically cut down.
Came September, my surgeon (without anesthesia) injected material into the eye socket because additional volume was necessary to relieve pain resulting from everything not fitting just right. In three months, I will need another injection.
Still September, my closest girlfriend’s husband passed away, whom I’ve known since I was sixteen. Friends since 7th grade, I am mourning with her.
Still September, our country is pummeled with Wall Street’s biggest crisis since the Great Depression, and I am scared stiff along with many Americans, while still punching us in the gut are natural disasters with deaths and homelessness, gas at $4.00 a gallon, rising food prices, and health care and education concerns.
Which is why I believe in whining. Everyone has his own method, and I do mine mostly in silence, banging my head against unwinnable choices and groping for grace to know the difference.
It’s almost October, and I’m a wind-up toy taut and ready to spring into a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to dance, and a time of peace for us all.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.