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PAICRing Myself

The conference went really well, and as the next President of the Association, I'm really proud of the work we did. I need to head out early in the morning to get checked in for my trip to London. I'd really like to head down to boy's town in San Diego, but I'm so friggin' tired that I'm just going to pack up and go to bed. Get up fresh. Oh my god, I'm acting like a grown up. Make it stop.

Yesterday I learned some disappointing news about work. I' was passed over for a certain level of firm-wide recognition that I'd been hoping for. I'm upset about the decision, but more upset about the way it was communicated to me.

Despite this little bump in the career path, I know things will work out fine.

And earlier this evening, I had an experience that put my disappointment into clear perspective.

Had dinner with family tonight up in Oceanside. I haven't seen my Aunt J. in many years. She was my favorite Aunt when I was little ... the "cool" one. The one who let me have root beer with my pancakes at breakfast. The one who was the rebel and always played full out with us kids.

Eleven years ago, her very young daughter had a son who was born with severe birth defects. I met Zach tonight for the first time. No one thought he'd live, let alone be 11 years old. He is a complete invalid, has no control of his extremities, and needs to be strapped into a wheelchair where he just He has to be fed liquids through a tube in his stomach ... he's never had solid food and yet he just keeps growing. He has the mental capacity of a 9-18 month old baby, has had countless surgeries, and needs to have more.

My aunt has raised her grandson as her own ... Zach's mother was around 14 at the time, and was really in no way equipped to be a mom. Taking care of this kid is a 24-hour job and will be for the rest of his life. I have no idea what goes on in his mind, but he looks around and laughs. I have to believe he knows he's loved and is completely cared for.

I just don't know how AJ does it. I really can't imagine what her life has turned into. She looks so old, but she still has the spirit I remember being so fun when I was a kid. She's not in the best of health herself, but she lives and breaths for that boy. She has been dealt a really fucked up hand. She has accepted it and plays it beautifully.

The whole thing is so incredibly sad to me, yet the love I saw tonight fills my heart with warmth and my eyes with tears.

I don't mean to be maudlin. I'm just overwhelmed by it all. My trivial career concerns are nothing compared to the what she and Zach live through every day.

God bless you AJ. You are an amazing woman.