It’s March 31st, yet I could see my breath in the freezing air as I walked out the door this morning. A straining headache took my attention from my mother, driving me to school as usual. She didn’t feel right, but telling me wouldn’t help. I knew. I always do.
Barely able to think, I managed to do the first exercise on a geography exam before 9 am. I even had some of the questions right. As the hour was over – and the usual school bell sounded (a G chord, notes played one by one starting at the lowest g) – I knew it was time for the final rehearsal for the school band. Being the drummer, it was kind of important for me to be present at the rehearsal. Our concert is next week, so the tension was quite high.
As I walked out of the second classroom of the day, my headache returned to its full strength. I felt my remaining energy slip away, reminding me of my chronic disorder, my chronic difference from all the other people I know. I do not have the energy to live the life I want.
Reality hit me like a slap in the face this morning. I decided to go home, where my mom was still in pain, still cursing her cancer for returning in multiple places. I joined her.
Now, hours later, we clean out the kitchen as we exchange complaints on pain, then finally settle down on the sofa. We sit together in the living room as we laugh at girls on television who bicker over little things. We let blankets hug us as we embrace our moments together – we could do this forever.
I started wondering how I manage to stay positive. I started wondering whether I could find others like me – others who already know their weakness and have faced the struggle of turning down invitations because their bodies won’t allow them to go.
If I did, I might be able to find the source of my optimism (however bad life seems to be) and spread it. I might be able to explain the love I have for every life (even those who seem to oppose me) and teach others how to use it. If I can make one person smile, it will be worth it.
Unanswered question no. 1: Will writing a blog help me make people feel stronger?