Thursday, February 08, 2007

I was watching a rerun of Without a Trace, recently, and there was this subplot about a man whose child had been abducted years ago & had never been found. He started talking about how everyone else in his life - his wife, his counselor, his friends & family - just kept telling him to "move on," and how hard it was to have this piece of yourself missing, to have to hope. Hoping is difficult, it's so much harder sometimes than just giving up. The man said that this battle, this war inside himself to either keep hoping or let it go, felt like he was drowning, but slowly. Because he knew that things were wrong in his life, without his son, but he just didn't know how to pick up the pieces and trudge forward with them. Didn't know if he should, or even if he could.

And somewhere in the middle of his speech, I realized: "That's me." I've been hoping, remembering my past, as if it could ever be my future. I'm surrounded by people who just keep saying I've got to "get on with my life," and yet no one can tell me how to do it. ~

“One day, I had a father, and the next day, I had a story to tell.” I stole this quote from a book: I wish I could remember which one it was. But it was another line that went straight to my heart. It's me, again.

Over the years, I've met quite a few people (some are even close to me) who've said something along the lines of "I don't know how you do it," or "I don't think I could do what you do." And, while I know it's meant to be a compliment, it always confuses me, because I wonder what they think they would do, in these circumstances.

There were no choices for me: as so often happens in life, things changed in that one minute, that split-second that I went from healthy teenager to a person with a chronic illness. One day, I had my health, a normal-average life all set up for myself, and the next, I had a story to tell. The story I tell here: my story.

All I've been doing, ever since the beginning of this unexpected story, is searching for the pieces, trudging, trying not to drown along the way.

And who isn't?


Maya's Granny said...

The thing is, as someone who did lose her father at a young age, I think it has to be so much harder not to know. If I thought that if only I kept the faith he might come back, I don't know if I could have lived with it. It is simply easier to know for sure.

The Goldfish said...

I've often used the metaphor of a missing loved-one for fluctuating chronic illness; every slight remission is like a positive sighting and every relapse brings all the fear that this time you're going to know for sure, and you have to mourn your losses all over again.

Moving on isn't about pretending that this isn't the case, more about carving out a life in which all this simply matters less. Uh... not that that is simple by any stretch of the imagination.