It's been a hell of a week. The kind of week that most people would try to do their best to forget about. But even in hell, there are lessons to be learned.
I'm sitting on the floor, near midnight, with my daughter sleeping comfortably on the couch. My daughter, when she was born, wasn't born quite right. She had a deformity that causes certain medical problems that are physically hard for her to deal with. I won't go into too much detail. My wife and I have tried to treat it medically, with prescriptions, drugs, and by being very attentive to the condition. But finally, after years of trying, and a great deal of discussion, we decided it was time to try a surgical approach.
Surgery should always be the last option. So many things can go wrong, it's a miracle so many of them go right. Just being put under anesthesia is a risk. We brought her to the doctors - A great facility, one that's widely known for it's staff and services. They admitted her, and my wife and I reluctantly went to a hotel. The first night was the worst, but the next day, we were incredibly relieved to hear that everything went smoothly. She had even managed to enchant the staff, as we were reminded every time we received a call; they called us twice every day to give us an update of her progress. On the next to last day we were finally able to visit her, and while she was still under the effects of medication, she smiled the sweetest smile we could ever recall. We knew she was going to be fine.. Another miracle.
Then finally the day came when we could bring her home. It was a long drive back home, but we finally got home and had started to unpack. Not 20 minutes, she started to wretch. A white frothy liquid was coming up, no matter how hard she tried to vomit, she couldn't bring anything up. This went on for a horrifying 15 minutes before we finally got a call back from the doctors saying we needed to get her to a local office as fast as possible. We got her there as fast as possible, and they took her in for X-rays. She needed immediate surgery, and they weren't equipped or staffed to do it there, so we had to drive her another hour out to a place that could perform the surgery. It had nothing to with her first surgery, it was a completely new development, and one we would later find out could have killed her.
Could have. Thankfully, we got her to a doctor in time. We waited in that office for an hour and a half, and finally the doctor came out and told us, once again, that everything had gone exceedingly well. Another miracle.
This facility could only keep her overnight until we could transfer her to the care of another facility. We wanted her brought back to the facility where she had had her first surgery. The staff felt so bad when we had to bring her back, but I trust these people implicitly. They paid very close attention to her, and 2 days later, they were confident the worst was over, and she would be just fine.
That's three miracles, for those who are counting. I think that's my quota for one lifetime. Hopefully I won't need any more in the near future.
So we're home again, and here I sit.. Typing in a blog on a UO site, not a personal one, while my daughter sleeps next to me.
My daughter's name is Sasha - She's an eight year old German Shepard.
My wife and I decided, quite voluntarily, that having children of our own wasn't a good decision. I had had enough exposure basically raising my brothers children, and seeing first hand what people who were clearly never meant to be parents can do to those poor unfortunate souls (As did my wife, but unfortunately more directly). Ultimately, it's parents that have the biggest impact on a life, and we didn't feel we would be good enough, and that we didn't like the directions and paths that the world appears to be heading in. More than that, we felt that even though we would do our best, if we didn't think it would be good enough to give a child a good life, we simply wouldn't peruse that course - We'd find our own. And before you say it, no, you need a LOT more than love, but that's another discussion.
Again, why on a blog focused around UO am I blathering on about this sort of thing, using a title when I last talked about wanting to make UO videos? You know, other than the fact that it's theoretically "my" blog and I can talk about anything I please, for either practical or cathartic purposes?
It comes down to what we consider our "children". In some cases it's not even the same species. And sometimes, our children aren't even alive.
My first boss used to ask us when we were done with something, "Would you sign your name to that?". The implication was, of course, that we could have and should have done a better job of whatever it was we were working on.
I may just be old, but it seems to mo me there was a time where people took pride in what they used to do, no matter what they did. I would like to believe that UO was formed with a similar mindset - one that went beyond mere profits and other business directives. They wanted to see something they created, or adopted, grow and reach it's best potential. They wanted to share it, enjoy it, and have others enjoy it too. The things we make, make us, as the Jeep commercial goes.
But can a lot of people really say that sort of thing now? Can the developers of UO say that just like their children, it's more than just a job, it's something that they help define and in return defines them? Can people say the videos they put up on YouTube, the messages they post anonymously on a forum, are something they would sign their name to?
This isn't about perfection, about being the best. We all fall, we all make mistakes, and we're all hypocrites. Its about taking the the time and and attention to do something that you reserve for the things you really love. It's about recognizing what you really care about, what you need to improve, and finding another way if you must. It's about saying, "Even though this is flawed, I'm proud of it, and I will get better. And if I don't make, it isn't for lack of trying"
Thanks for reading.
A New Adventure - Sign here, please.
Blog entry posted by Coldren, Apr 13, 2012.