With a little luck

I am not sure I believe in the concept of luck, or in being lucky. Maybe we do make our luck, good or bad. We work hard, we learn, we put our best foot forward, we try to time our opportunities. All that stuff is easy to imagine. But luck? I just don’t know.

K lost a good friend this past weekend, killed by a passing vehicle. It was a horrible accident, and a young man paid with his life. Bad luck, for sure. But honestly, I imagine it was just one of those things – wrong time, wrong place. Did luck play a part in it? While all I know about him is the tributary snippets posted on Facebook pages, it seems he was in a program and trying to turn his life around, change his luck.

If I believed in that, anyway.

I feel fortunate, blessed. Sometimes I even say lucky. For it’s a double-edged sword – sometimes good, all too frequently bad.

It is on my mind today because of K’s friend and other events in my full-time job. Things are fine, but it’s been busy and stressful for weeks because of something the owners really wanted, a piece of seeming good fortune that felt lucky. But it’s not lucky, not meant to be. It was merely another potential business pairing that is pretty one-sided in its benefits, and in this case it would benefit the other party. But for us, it feels like good luck, that life will continue for at least the balance of this year. For our owners hopes for a different outcome, not quite the blessed fortune they allowed themselves to anticipate. They are disappointed, but all our lives continue and it is truly business as usual.

A few weeks ago I was spiraling into a deep, dark, hardy funk. After a few days of wallowing and flounding in the darkness, my emotional skies cleared up a bit, I sought some professional counsel, and my emotional state evened out. My daughter’s heart valve receipient is still a new mother, and my daughter’s namesake is quite a beauty queen in the making. I look at her picture and I am breathless with wonder, imagining the possibilities that lie ahead for this little charmer. She does not need luck; she is a gift to be cherished. She does need Dr. Suess and Shel Silverstein, just a few of our favorites to celebrate her birth. And a ruffled dress and matching socks that went very far to lift my sagging spirits.

Baby B lives in Texas and will go from her present dusting of baby fine hair to big hair seemingly overnight. And her smile will be bigger than the Texas skies. These are things I just know and can divine from a 2×3 infant photograph taped to my computer monitor. It is not conjecture or speculation; it’s faith, pure and simple. I shared my wisdom with her mom, in an email advising her of an incoming package, and her mom responded that I made her cry. Again. The happy tears of a sleep-deprived new mother who feels anything but lucky with a fussy, hungry baby who does not want to nurse. Have faith, I said replied; her DNA says she’s very smart, so when it kicks in she will figure out how eating works and be okay. And she did. Yesterday when the books arrived both baby B and her mommy were sleeping soundlly. And it was good.

I do not think it was luck. Nature, nuture, practicality – a girl has to eat to thrive and survive, after all. And a good hit of sleep changes everything.

These ladies – K, baby B, her mom – each have had trying experiences recently. They are making their way around and over obstacles in their pathways. Maybe it’s science. Or hard work, persevernce, timing. Whatever combination of forces, they struggle and overcome. Because they must. Maybe too it helps that someone, somewhere, believes in their individual promise, possibility, potential.

To know them, and to share sorrow and joy, I do feel lucky. Even if I do not necessarily believe in the concept. Feeling lucky – I am taking it on faith. Knowing I am lucky to be part of their lives – that’s just part of my reality. And it is good.

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