"Here's to the damned to the lost and forgotten/It's hard to get high when you're living on the bottom"
I loved "People Like Us" the first time I heard it; it speaks to the loss, the pain, the isolation, the struggle to keep going ... the cycle of infertility. It's hard not to feel like IF leaves you living on the bottom.
"People like us we've gotta stick together/Keep your head up nothing lasts forever."
I loved how it hits on the need for community, for understanding. For the longest time I was stuck on how much we infertiles need one another, as there is so little understanding and compassion in the wider world. ("Why don't you just...?" or "You must have so much free time and money." etc.) In much of the world we are freaks; we don't fit in. We are neither parents nor cheerfully child-free. Commercials focus on parents, on families with children; aging is so often depicted in the having of children, then grandchildren; healthcare commercials make it sound like we don't have reason to live. Or they focus on couples enjoying exotic travels and a life of material excess.
But who are "people like us?" Are they only other infertiles? Only other Catholics? We can split people up into so many categories, divide them so many ways, leaving groups of "us" and "them." Do we need people who have faced similar struggles? Of course, but that doesn't mean we should limit ourselves to just those who are most like us.
Who are "people like us?" People of faith... and people of none. As Christians we are called to see all of God's children as "people like us." We can't ever focus so much on the "us" that we forget that those whose lives seem completely opposite. The family with 10 children? They're people like us. The young couple whose plans have been ruined by an unexpected pregnancy? They're people like us. They might not have walked the same road, but they, too, struggle and suffer. They, too, are created in His image.
This Thanksgiving, as we enter into season that so often centers around family and children, I hope that each of us can find refuge with those whose suffering enables them to offer love and compassion while still keeping our hearts open to all of God's children, even those who annoy us, frustrate us, hurt us, and deny Him.