Sunday, February 1, 2009

Object Permanence, part 2

I wrote after Henry's diagnosis of my struggle with a feeling of betrayal by the universe. It wasn't that his cancer was a betrayal, but the fact that the universe knew before I did. I spent a lot of time wondering about future betrayals, worrying how to weather them.

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. But why am I always looking at the other side? Why not keep my toes in my own grass?

As time has gone on, I've spent a lot of time worrying about the other side. How would it feel to experience life with a child who had no chance of survival? How would it feel to have your last Christmas with him? To think of all of the things that would never be? I couldn't imagine it would be anything but agonizing.

I was wrong. Life is not agonizing. There's a lot of unpleasant emotion to be sure, but there is yet so much joy and love. The universe and I are back on good terms, being as open an honest as we can, and as I am being as trusting as I can. I'm no longer searching for betrayal, wondering what will tip me off to badness ahead. I know my path, and though it has yet to unfold, I'm no longer afraid of it.

I just have to keep focused on my own patch of grass.


qwerty said...


How would it feel to have your last Christmas with him?

It was not your last Christmas with him; it was this Christmas with him.

As an over-50 I have a knowing empathy for the thoughts you share here. Certainly not comparable but surely we all think about 'the other side of the fence' as we age; as we imagine, not those we love, but ourselves being gone.

With three children now I think about the future, the grass on the other side of the fence occasionally. But more for them than myself.

Grass grows whether we watch it or not. I guess we have to enjoy it now rather than worry about the future.

Even at 50-plus it still feels good to run my toes through it.

Thinking of you and yours.


THAT GIRL said...

"I know my path, and though it has yet to unfold, I'm no longer afraid of it."

I get what you are saying here. Fear of the unknown... anticipation of what may or may not happen... is often more agonizing and painful than the actual event in life itself.

I find that fear itself is a very intermittent presence... I conquer it after much work in some aspect of life, but it re-emerges in another.

I'm a firm believer that perfect love casts out fear. So when I am afraid, I just try to love harder.

JeanMac said...

Sending hugs to you and your family. A terrific post.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift and that's why it's called the present. Treasure every moment!