What If

by HelluvaGirl

With the geopolitical tension continuously rising, I often think about what lies ahead.

I have always been so afraid of war that when Ukraine events broke out, I began thinking where I would flee in case Russian aggression continued to move further. Mrs. Nielsen assured in the most serious manner she would have a refugee camp in her backyard if shit hit the fan. Seriously speaking, I don’t believe we would have time and means to fly away in the outbreak of war, but it was good to know someone would be waiting for me somewhere safe.

Now, as the months pass and the greedy narrow-minded interest group leaders pursue their goals at the expense of ordinary people, families and nations, and the threat continuously grows, I am not so sure I would leave if war broke out in Lithuania.

This reminds me of a very different topic.

I was midway through my pregnancy when I received a call from my clinic. The doc asked me to come in immediately because there was a problem with my PRISCA test results. The test shows the existence of prenatal risks, like foetal abnormality etc. There must be a mistake, the doc said, but she wanted to be sure and to have me retake the test. And so I did.

The afternoon after I spent alone as Pia’s Father was working. I had time to think. If there really was a problem, i. e. if the child I was carrying was not fine, it was already too late. Too late for what? Abortion was never an option for me. However, I remember myself saying if I gave birth to a disabled child, I would give it away for adoption because I wasn’t strong enough; I would become bitter and make our lives miserable.

That day, it felt so real. I could have a disabled kid. I felt worried and sad.

But as I was there, everything fell into places. That particular soul that chose me as a gateway to come to life was someone I deserved. Someone of my own making. My continuation. My reflection. It felt ridiculous to even allow the thought of giving it up as a lump of meat you buy at a supermarket and decide at home you don’t want it any more. It was mine. And I knew that day that whoever would be born, whatever defects he or she would have, my purpose in life would be to stay and to love. I didn’t quite decide this: I opened up to what I felt deep inside and I just knew.

As I later told this to One Clever Person, she looked at me, eyes glowing, and said:

I knew you were kind. Borderline and reckless, deep down you have light and tenderness.

We had one of those rare moments of me being completely open and soft, and her – relieved, almost grateful. She worked hard for those moments.

What I mean to say by this example, is that you only know what you’d do in critical situations when you are there. Beforehand, you may own opinions. But you never really know.

When Lithuania discusses bringing back conscription, when men around me wonder how they could avoid it, I think out loud who will defend us if they don’t? Aren’t we responsible for what will remain here if all of us leave? When will be our time to stand for our homes if not in the time of actual need?

It breaks my heart to sense war approaching; to see what our lives would become; what loss we would have to bear. But I am not so sure any more I would use the opportunity to take my daughter and leave. Leave my parents, my friends, Pia’s Father and everyone else who’d choose or would be bound to stay.

Looking from a perspective, I realise we need war, we need a clean slate every now and then. It’s always been this way. As a humanity, we are no wiser today compared to ages ago. We may be smart but we are doubtfully kinder. We have not reached a level of consciousness in our day-to-day lives which could allow coexisting without a fight over principles, ideas, attitudes and money. So yes, a regular clean-up is unavoidable.

As soon as you get back on the ground, it all becomes very personal, very basic, animal-like. We care for ourselves and the closest ones. We care about the simple things, like eating, raising our children, being safe.

We each have our day. I do not fear death as much as I fear heartbreak, watching my loved ones suffer and die. War will break us all. I pray for Light in people to grow and to become a counterpoise for the destruction, knowing we are but arriving to a point in our existence where all has been. I pray for strength.