I told Caleb, “Life isn’t fair,” at least once a week. Well, it felt like I said it more often than that, but probably less. He obsessed over things when they did not occur equally. No doubt, he got this trait from me.
Sometimes he would feel for those who were destitute or homeless. Other times he would complain about wanting to do an activity with friends, but we refused because he had homework to finish. Both situations feel unfair when it’s happening to you. However, if you cannot go with friends because of procrastination or you decide to take five AP classes at once, it is not a matter of fairness.
No one ever complains when life isn’t fair in their favor. When you win the lottery, it isn’t fair and you are happy about it. If you have a great job you love with a great spouse and successful children, I think you’ve won the lottery.
Since Caleb died, I have said this much more often. Then I stopped for a while because I thought it sounded petty. Surely there are those who have worse situations than I do. That is true, but that is not really what fairness is about. This usage is about being impartial without favoritism or prejudice. One way we can gauge if something is fair involves comparing its likelihood to what is generally accepted as normal. Not everyone can be as good as average because an average includes all those above and below that level. So let’s be generous and say maybe things are not good, but it is normal and fair if it is within a few standard deviations of average.
Read my book, God Is in the Doubt, for all the horrible things that have occurred. I still wonder why God let us endure 17 years of infertility, only to let us get pregnant and then have a miscarriage. All those years of trying so diligently, then have hope yanked away. I wonder why she had to endure five surgeries and a severe autoimmune disease affecting intimacy since the miscarriage.
Should I think any of that is fair?
At what point has our struggle moved from fair to unfair?
Many couples have a miscarriage or maybe two, but end up with two or more children if they desire. Some couples experience a short infertility period, but few have long-term infertility. Some businesses struggle, but few endure a flooding and then a fire and then a sudden loss of contracts resulting in its closing. When adopting, it may be normal to have a failed match, but it is a bit rare to have four failed matches and extremely rare to fight the birth mother for custody. A few women have problems with a miscarriage but rarely endure a DNC, uterine ablation, and hysterectomy. While some people develop autoimmune disorders, a rare few women develop the autoimmune disease Lichen Sclerosus (LS) which tears the skin and affects intimacy.
Even if one was so unlucky to have one of those things occur, it might still be somewhat on the fringe of normal. We had the adoption court case, miscarriage, fire, DNC, ablation, hysterectomy, and the beginnings of LS within 18 months and the extremes of the rest occurred, and more. Oh, and we had to endure it with no family or support nearby.
If all our pregnancies had survived, we would have a 30, 26, and 12-year-old along with our 14-year-old. When I see a college friend with their adult children and grandchildren, life isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair when I see Caleb’s scouting buddies with their multiple children. When I see his classmates getting accolades and succeeding, life isn’t fair.
Yeah. Life isn’t fair and never in my favor.