I scream that I want your life, but that’s not fair.
I sit on the bus staring at the dozen or so heads before me, and wonder why I think their lives are perfect. Who of they will die of cancer, will find out their child was raped? Who among them has already suffered?
I cannot judge. I am not in a place to judge. To look at others and believe that they have it better than I, that their lives are less full of pain and suffering and terror.
It’s a continuum, pain. A spectrum much as my own disease, and to each his own. My suffering may be someone else’s peace, as full of fear and loneliness as it may be.
Could I survive losing a child as Bon and Kate have, living with that hole underneath my heart forever? Could I do it with such grace? Never. That ache would echo in my chest for eternity, and I would forever be changed. Theirs is not the life I point to, and that’s just it.
I do not know you.
I do not know the person next to me at work, not really. I don’t know their past, their mind, their today. I do not know what their life has meant, or where it’s going.
I remind myself, shake it off, do not judge.
Do not judge. Ask they return the favour.
On my way to work, clutching coffee blurry eyed in the rain someone I once worked with walked by, hacking, saying hello. He said he was the working homeless, spoke of how he went to the soup kitchen and some of his ex-coworkers were there and refused him a second bowl of soup. How he reacted in a rage, and could feel them thinking ‘He hasn’t changed, not just one bit.”
I felt kinship, and a humiliating helplessness. I cannot fix him. I cannot make it better. But I can question why someone needing food only gets one bowl. I can imagine how painful it is to accept food from the very people who fired you. I can see the simple lines of incidents that could lead me to his very place, mistakes, moments, sudden stops in a doorway and suddenly, your life is very different indeed.
I liked him. I always enjoyed talking with him, and now-it’s reduced to words in passing on a street, and my impotent desire to help.
My life could very well be his, my misery compounded. I could be sleeping in front of Canadian Tire.
A friend brought in her 2 month old twins, all healthy and plump and snurgly. I held, no, I hogged them both for a time, reveling in a moment I never allowed myself to enjoy. The girl fell asleep in my arms, her tired eyes fluttering up for seconds, then back down with a sigh. I could have sat like that forever.
In a rush, the newness, the glorious newness returned to my body, the remembrance of all the futures you plotted as you watched your first born sleep. The smiles you wanted to stop on their faces, the small important victories of heads up and side rolls. The shiny smell of new baby in the house, the tiny diapers.
I mourned a little then, but I also found within me the ability to move past it, to look forward to the rest of my daughters lives, to school, to boyfriends (or girlfriends) and periods and PMS and ice creams and everything that life has before us. This part, this new life, the jarring impact, it’s now past us. We have aged and moved into an age.
And with age, I can now enjoy a long baby snuggle. Small victories folks.
It’s raining today. When I was a child, I thought this meant god was crying.