Monday, March 27, 2006

#30 Hope?

Some good news for a change - David got his SSI - and the same week he got a chance to fly to Florida with his uncle. The day of their flight I was paralyzed with fear - not of tragedy, but of hope. Isn't it funny how in life we can become acclimated to almost anything - I was accustomed to bad news, to trouble, to struggle - my mind could not wrap itself around the fact that something good was happening - and so my mind made up its own bad news - I was certain that this was some cruel twist in fate - tempting us into some ultimate disaster - the jet would crash - the jet would be hijacked - David would lose control from paranoia and be shot dead by the marshals like that man with bipolar disorder in the news a couple of months back. I tried, but I just could not make myself just be grateful for my son's good fortune - it was pouring that night and as I sat at my desk grading listening to the pounding rain - I thought back to how this had started after David's first attempt and how it rained for days - I couldn't help but think that if this was literature it would end the same - the rain - the floods - the phone call that the plane had went down. I had to shake myself and find something to distract me - I called my cousin to tell her the good news - but I just couldn't help but mention that it felt scary to have things go right. Then my husband called out from the mudroom in the back of the house - we have been patching our old roof for a couple of years and it wasn't unusual for a new leak to spring up, but this one was massive - a steady stream ran from the ceiling and the sheetrock had begun to bow - just as my husband turned to grab a bucket, a four foot wide section of the ceiling came crashing down - I laughed - perhaps an inappropriate reaction - but now I felt sure that the plane would land smoothly (which it did) - things had been going too well - but the hole in the ceiling begged normalcy - at least in our lives - the rain pouring into my house yelled hope!

Friday, March 03, 2006

#29 The Regrets

I am being hounded by entities from Hell. Not the terrible trio called the Furies, but rather a group I have named, the Regrets. They come upon me at times such as these when I am contemplating mistakes I have made in the week – in this case forgetting my mother’s birthday until she mentioned it, realizing that my composition class hasn’t understood half of my forty minute lecture, evidenced by their uncomprehending, blank stares, and noting that David has become somewhat manic and has been awake for thirty six hours straight. It is now that the Regrets arrive, well dressed, with perfect hair and nails, as always beaming happiness – the perfect daughter, who never forgets her mother’s birthday and always has enough money to buy her a memorable gift; the perfect instructor, always organized, witty, and easily understood; the perfect mother, watching as her son stands to the podium as valedictorian at his high school graduation. All the women I thought I might be, that I thought I could be. They torture me with their excellence in stark contrast to my reality. But wait, slightly behind and to the side stands one that one that cannot be one of the regrets. She is unkempt; her hair needs a cut and has been pushed back awkwardly – her clothes don’t quite match, are rumpled, and has cat hair and chalk dust on them. In her eyes there is not happiness, but neither is there despair. Instead there is a passion, a determination that vibrates through her being – she is far from perfect, but she has a weapon, a glittering pen that she uses to disperse the smiling regrets – as the being gets closer I realize – She is Me!