Remember Me?

By Shamus Posted Saturday Oct 14, 2006

Filed under: Personal 15 comments

I’m back. Just got home from the hospital, with my daughter. She’s on the mend. Feels like a week since the last time I was home.

On Wednesday night I held my limp daughter in my arms while her open, unblinking eyes looked past me. I couldn’t feel her breathing, and for a good minute or so I wasn’t even sure if she was still with us. If you’re a parent then you can probably imagine what this feels like. If not, you’ll have to extrapolate. Anyway, after those moments of primal emotions and the subsequent three days of uncertainty, writing about how “scary” the Silent Hill movie is seems childish and shallow. Something like this is great for putting things into perspective, although a healthy sense of perspective is really bad for enjoying the fantasy worlds of movies, videogames, and roleplaying.

So, I need to step back from this thing for a couple more days and, as the hippies say, “Get my head together, man.”

Thanks for the well-wishes from everyone. Really, it was nice to come home to that. She’s doing fine. She’s tired of needles and drugs and bizzare tests she doesn’t understand, and we have every reason to believe she will recover fully.

I will say this: The last five months or so certainly have been interesting.

I’m really hoping the next five months or so will be exceedingly dull. That would be just super, thanks.


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15 thoughts on “Remember Me?

  1. Pixy Misa says:

    Wishing you all the boredom you could ask for. ;) Glad to hear your daughter is okay.

  2. greywulf says:

    Dull is good. Here’s to as much dullness as you can take. Take that from a proud father of two sons. /Normal/ is the best thing in the world, and I wish you lots of it.

    Welcome back, both.

  3. Mark says:

    Glad to hear your daughter is doing better! And I could deal with some dullness myself these days…

  4. Pete Zaitcev says:

    I’m glad she is better.

    Mine only had something called “krup” (shortness of breath due to infection).

  5. Evil Otto says:

    Here’s hoping your life is uninteresting.

  6. That sounds like fantastic news. Spend as much time with her as she needs. (Then spend a little bit more for your own sake.)

    We’ll be waiting for you when you lose your perspective again. ;-)

    Best wishes.

  7. Will says:

    Yeah, “interesting times” are for curses. I’ll take dull any day. It’ll all work out.

  8. Alex says:

    Four more years! Four more years!

    I mean … quietness all around!

  9. Wonderduck says:

    May you live in exceedingly uninteresting times!

    Let us know if there’s anything you need, Shamus ol’ bean!

  10. ubu roi says:

    Holy Handgrenade of Antioch… I take off blogging for a couple of days and the rotary air impeller gets the royal treatment.

    All my best, and many hopes for a very dull future.

  11. David V.S. says:

    Please excuse me for writing in a bit of a preachy style. Sometime ministers can’t help it. ;-)

    There’s nothing childish or shallow about re-learning the difference between terror and horror.

    (As I’ll use the words, terror is about being scared by something out of place in the world, and horror is about being scarred by something that should not be in the world. Remember this magic trick where the guy’s head appears to fall off? He reveals it is a magic trick after a moment, so it only scares people. If it was not a magic trick and he had really died, then during the next few days the people would also experience an increasing horror about how someone literally sneezed their head off.)

    The world is broken. Our faith has an explanation for why some things, such as death, seem like they do not belong: we are made for a different and better world.

    If we get used to it, and are in control of the situation, terror can be fun. People like scary video games, roller coasters that create physical sensations we otherwise do not experience, etc. If the fictional setting says so, zombies can be switched to “out of place” instead of “should not exist”.

    Moreover, terror can be thereputic. There is a primal satisfaction for restoring things to their proper places. Even something as mundane as doing dishes feels more rewarding if it seems somewhat permanent — if you are about to go on vacation, or be home without the kids for a day, so there will not be more dirty dishes in an hour.

    Horror is not fun. In very small doses it can be tolerated to enhance terror. In some ways the setting of the Silent Hill game leaves undefined what could happen. Thus the player expects that there will be some occasions when the fright is not from simply things that are out of place but things that seem genuinely wrong for existing. But this is rare, because horror is not fun.

    And horror is not thereputic. People who live through concentration camps usually come out quite scarred. Too much horror destroys people. A soldier or policeman who has built up a tolerance for terror is called brave, but there is (rightfully) no complimentary word to describe people used to horror.

    In This World we are the dying; the living are those who have gone ahead to the World to Come. A little terror can help us remember our mortality and make us appreciate how much God has given us in This World: it could be a lot worse to be among the dying. In contrast, horror causes us to feel like the already dead, and rather than giving an appreciation of This World provokes a disgust about how different it is from the World to Come.

    I guess the practical thing I’m trying to say is not to trust your “new sense of perspective” too much. As you “get your head together” you may be troubled that you do not find anything about your life to change. You may feel a need to spend less time spoiling yourself. Please treat these impulses with skepticism. Horror is about what should not be, and is thus uniquely unqualified to give us advice about how to live.

    (From what Heather writes, you spend a lot of time with your family, and you also spend enough time supporting and building your family and community. We enjoy your commentary on video games but do not have reason to think you spend too much time on them. Although scripture does not say we are entitled to spoiling ourselves, in practice if we try to eliminate this then we unthinkingly begin spoiling ourselves in different and often less healthy ways. It is often wise to pick one or two things by which to purposefully spoil ourselves, intentionally and healthily and also to help resist needlessly spoiling ourselves in other ways.)

    Thank you for sharing your good news, as well as for sharing during the time of intense trouble so that we could pray for your family.

  12. BeckoningChasm says:

    My prayers are with you and your family.

  13. shamus, it takes very little imagination for me to relate to what you must have felt. thank god all is well. Will send a prayer your way today.

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