It’s uncommon that I sit and stare at a blank screen for long. My overactive imagination rarely lets me get away with having nothing to think about – or write about – but here I am. Staring. Wondering what to do. And how I’m going to get from point A to point B. But I don’t even know where or what point B is. So, I guess I’ll just sit idle on point A for a while.
I woke up to hideous news this morning. My friend’s son isn’t doing well. I don’t know what the next steps are – if there are any steps left to take – or what to say or do. For once, I’m seeing this from a point of view that many of my friends see it from with me. What do you do? I can understand why so many retreat from me. Not that I am planning on the old “cut and run,” but there’s simply nothing I can say or do to offer her any comfort. Her son is losing his battle and she is forced to sit by and helplessly watch his struggle.
When she shared the bad news via text this morning, my sole response was “shit.” Eloquent, right? But, in commanding my inappropriate mind to come up with something more powerful or what would express my true feelings, “shit” was all I could come up with. I immediately apologized for my profanity, and that’s when she admitted that my apology made her laugh. I let her know that while I may not be the most articulate person in the world, my heart was sincere. And if nothing else, I’m always good for a laugh.
This is a lonely way of life. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe I’ve just isolated myself over the past 10 years. I always had a knack of hiding in a corner as a child. I created my own mecca by shoving two tall dressers together and planting a beanbag in between them. I’d crawl to the top of the dresser and slide down to the safety of my fortress, sinking into the comfort of my beanbag chair and writing for hours on end in my Holly Hobby notebook that held all my hopes and dreams: To have a good hair day. To pass an upcoming math test. To find the disembodied head of my favorite Barbie Doll. To someday get a tan.
I think I underachieved in the dream department when I was young. Really, all I wanted was to get through the day. I faced a lot of adversity in my youth. My family was full of dysfunction and I never quite got over losing my beloved dog, Dino. He bit some kid in my neighborhood and mysteriously “disappeared” afterward. I know I’ve recounted our less-than-amazing family life in prior posts, but all I’m trying to say is that when life got hard, I would tend to hide from it.
But here I am, a mother, something I never thought I’d be because I don’t really like children. At least I didn’t when I was a kid. Now I find that I absolutely adore them. And my children are the star on top of my Christmas tree. My world isn’t right without them. To be faced with potentially losing either one of them is nothing short of ridiculous. It makes me question absolutely everything.
So, how do I comfort my friend when I’m falling apart myself? She expressed her desire to stay in bed today, so, being the excellent friend I am I did that for her, pulling the covers up over my head and willing all the outside ickiness to disappear while I hysterically cried. Until a bill collector called me to “gently remind” me what I still owe. And then another phone call from school to report that Ben was sick. Again.
Seems that I no longer have the impenetrable fortress from my youth. Holly Hobby no longer protects my hopes and dreams. The bad news keeps coming and I keep tripping over this life. But the world keeps spinning. Faster and faster. Eventually, I’m going to fly off and smack into a wall, skidding slowly to the bottom like a cartoon character. That might not be all bad, I could certainly handle being unconscious for a while.
I know that’s not the answer. And I’m not going to take the path of my ancestors of dealing with my pain through alcohol, or beating others, or taking lots of drugs, or turning bitter. Life is hard. But I feel like I’m at a critical point where something has to give, darn it. Sadly, my fortress is no longer an option. I wish I could hide from all that is devastating me. And I wish I had all the answers.
But I don’t.