i lost another sister today. Tanya Shattuck-Williams died today. Tanya was my nephews foster-mother. for the past few years, she’s been family. She was a really sweet, warm girl. She was a wonderful mother to my nephew. She fit into our family well, she treated my parents they like were her own from the start, as they did her. We felt really lucky that she wanted us to be able to be as involved as possible with my nephew, because in these cases like that, it’s totally up to the foster parent. It was like something finally went right. She was great with him and loved us and we were all a family. There were also her two other girls (her husband’s girls) Allison and Arianna, both under the age of 12. the girls, Tanya’s mother and sister, they all became extended family. My heart goes out to all of them, and everyone else that knew and loved her.
i am sad. i am heartbroken for my nephew. he lost another mother today. he’s four. he has already lost one and thankfully, isn’t near old enough to understand what happened to her. he knows her by picture, he’ll tell you that’s his mother. tanya taught him that. but what actually happened, the whole tragic story, that would all come later, and that was good. he’s been with tanya for three of his four years. tanya is his mother. he loves her. this one, he will feel. he will know. he always wants his mommy even after a short stay away, and he will cry for her. it is heartbreaking.
i almost wrote the title of this post as a facebook status. and then thought better of it. as it turns out, i have a lot of religious people on my friends list. i wouldn’t want to offend anyone, at least not without at least explaining first. i’ll still use this title as my status, but if you dislike it, at least you can read my argument. then condemn me, if you would have anyway.
i’ve written about religion before. i’ve never been convinced with the whole idea of god, it’s a complex issue. thinking about it today i think its in part because then i would have to believe that everything happens for a reason. Or, maybe more that it is somehow God’s Plan. especially when someone dies, you hear this a lot. God’s Plan? i cant even really think about this. i cant believe that. i will not believe that. because if i were to believe that were true, and he not only allows but plans the kinds of horrible, violent, heartbreaking things that happen to people, then i would have to believe that he is a cruel God. Christians believe that God sacrificed his own son to be tortured and killed to save us. they say he knows your pain. that he makes you stronger, he helps you heal. but i don’t know anyone who has felt these kinds of pains, that wouldn’t want to spare it to someone, anyone, everyone else if they could. so if God, being almighty and merciful, overtly does not, doesn’t this make him a vengeful, spiteful God? who, based on faith alone, would even want to believe in something like that? not me.
i don’t really know what i believe. i am reflective on the idea of a spiritually supreme being of some sort, but i don’t believe it to be a God in any Christian sense of the word. i like the idea of there being some sort of spiritual realm, although i couldn’t possibly fathom anything about it. if there were some sort of higher power in it, i highly doubt it chooses or plans anything that happens in our daily lives down here. wouldn’t it make more sense that we would sort-of be like ants in an ant farm? we’re all busy, fast-paced and small down here, and they have a vast universe to float and expand in an eternity of peace? that sounds a hell of a lot more comforting to me. isn’t comfort one of the main reasons for faith in the first place? who’s to say though? it’s still only relevant after you die.
what i believe in, is that there is no why or reason or sense to most of what happens to people. it’s tragic, and heartbreaking, and unfair, and just is. sometimes it’s great, and sometimes it sucks, and sometimes it breaks you. and it probably will again.
i am bitter, i suppose. my dad always told me growing up, “life’s not fair”. this was mostly because my sister and i always had to have everything even, or one would complain that the other got more, or longer, or whatever. one of us would yell, “but that’s not fair!”, and we would always get back “life’s not fair!”. (this taught me that when something kinda stinks and you don’t like it sometimes you just gotta get over it if it’s not a big deal.) But I do think it is sort of instinctual to want to cry out at an injustice. when you feel you are wronged. or when you feel someone else was very wronged. i feel like crying out. this is not fair. not for her parents and her sister, i know all too well how deeply this aches. not fair for my nephew, the girls, or my family who just went through this a few years ago… it’s just too much. it’s just too soon. it’s just not fair.
Rest in Peace, Tanya. You will be deeply missed. We love you.