Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brain shells

Remember that old, cheesy story about footprints in the sand? You know, you can find the narrative on some shellacked slab of cheap pineboard. A picture of the sand with one set of footprints...they sell them at carnival stands and country fairs, and I think that my late grandmother had several variations of the story hanging in her tiny house, next to the velour Elvis rug and minuscule spoons from different states.

Yes, I agree, that is a story for another time.

In my more cynical days (I know what you're thinking, holy sh*t, she was actually MORE cynical!?) I thought that the footprint story was a load of religious garbage. The cheese factor was too much to even comprehend.

What so, you suddenly look at your life that YOU have been living and suddenly you're supposed to believe that the time where you see one set of footprints, the times where you thought, no, you wished that the Great Earth would swallow you whole just so that you would not have to face another brutal day in this f*cked up coil, those are the times that god carried your (my) sorry ass? Who in their right mind would stop by a pile of sh*t on the beach and decide to pick it up and lug it around until it transformed into something of worth?

Exactly, right? Apparently, god, Mother, Father, the Great Spirit, whatever you want to call it, is quite the mechanic and picking up junkers is just part of the fun of the job. Of course, this still does not account for the misery that you (I) dragged ourselves through, knowing we were entirely alone, waiting for the sand that we were sobbing in to finally be engulfed by the merciful sea.

No such luck. The great hobo of fate managed to sling all of that weight over his shoulders and keep walking down the beach, whether we liked it or not. That's not to say that we were carried gingerly or with any kind of maternal care. I'm fairly certain being lugged around was not Cinderella's carriage ride, but what the hell, it's better than nothing, right. We're breathing, right?

With reluctance, and still cynical, I have to believe that this is all true. Last night (actually all day yesterday) I fretted and prayed over my son. The boy who doesn't even sit still long enough to eat ice cream lay lethargic for the entire day, rattled by fever and dehydration. I finally took him to the emergency room, carrying his limp little body in. He was shaking with fever.

I was shaking with fear. It was an alone moment. Very dark, very scary, very decisive. You know what happens then...I began to beg. Just a small voice repeating the same thing over and over again, "Please heal him. It's not time yet. Please heal him. Let him be ok. I'm not ready."

Over and over and over. Because nothing else exists in that moment. Lucian survived, I survived. We finally went home, both crawled into bed exhausted, and listened with fear and some comfort to the other breathing in the dark.

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