I used to be afraid of roller coasters, and their short, fast twisting, turning excitement.
Then I realized roller coasters and life have a lot in common. So I started riding them, cause really -what the heck?
If there has ever been a lesson in the unpredictable nature of life, I am confident it has played out in the last two or so years. And I am confident I have studied hard, and that I understand. I understand that just when you think you might understand – you don’t.
You see, just when you think you may even comprehend the every-changing, unpredictable nature of life around us, there will inevitably be a way to prove to you you don’t have it quite right.
There have been more funerals this year than I care to count. Maybe its always like this, and I am just noticing now that 40 is behind me. Or maybe not. But there have been funerals for friends, for the brother of friend, for my own father, for my uncle, the precious father of three beautiful adult children, and for my Grandma, and a well-loved great-uncle, and the grandparents and parents of friends… and…
As I sit here thinking about all of them I try for the umpteenth time to rationalize. And I get farther with some than others. Some will just never do.
But the ultimate realization is that it’s not really mine to figure out. It’s not mine to decide how it fits in the grand plan. And I’m trying to stop looking to figure it out. Because, boy it can be exhausting.
And as I sit here in the wee small hours of the morning, I remember – that painful Thanksgiving week last year, as Dad fought and fought, and I wonder why. But, as much as I miss him, it’s not in a pitying kind of why. It’s in a genuine curiosity for something I will likely never be allowed to understand. Very much the way he used to ask me why he made it home from Vietnam and his friend Tommy didn’t.
It’s the same kind if why when Mom asks, why after being 18 years a breast cancer survivor, why she is “clean,” and so many have lost the fight.
As I listen to the rhythmic snoring of my husband, and watch my fidgety sleeping 11-year-old, I wonder.
I wonder how we ended up here – again, on the second floor of this hospital. Today. Now.
12 hours ago I thought I was tired. HA! What did I know.
450 miles in about 30 hours to celebrate the life of a great man, my uncle. Lots of driving, lots of thinking, lots of observing. Lots of admiration for his children, grown up children, who undoubtedly will make him proud forever with their compassion and good humor. Lots of respect for his wife – living her marriage vows through all the crappy stuff with poise and dignity. Lots of awe for my other Dad Ken, and GGMa, his mom, as they stood together, their original immediate family ripped in half in just over 2 years time.
12 hours ago I thought I would go to bed early.
But I ended up picking Meghan up from swim practice on the way home from Vermont. And she walked out of the locker room and almost fell to the ground with tears.
“I can’t walk. It’s my knee.”
And I checked off the list – Did you fall? Did you bang it? Did you hurt it doing dryland? One at a time I asked the questions, even though I knew the answers.
This knee. The one we’ve been waiting for since we stopped the celebrex had finally given way.
We had had hopes of finishing swim season first. That was before we had to refocus our hopes to making it into urgi care without falling.
We were promptly told to get out, and get to an ER. Fast. The swelling was too big.
Still in my funeral clothes I raced home long enough to tell Felix to dress for work, and to get into some sweats. A quick bag for Meghan and I and we were off. This time to Lenox Hill ER. Cause that’s where they do the knee surgeries. And not that I’m trying to plan. But just in case… Maybe we should be at the right place.
They contacted her doctor. He’s sure it’s the AVM, but he’ll confirm in person in another hour or so. In the mean time nothing to eat or drink for Ms. Meghan after midnight. Just in case.
AND regardless – we remain BEATINGCOWDENS!