Thursday, May 31, 2012
March 20, 2012 Hope is a deadly thing. As the season warms, the air softens, blooms dare nod to each other a bit, tentative in the warmth following the cool nights. The barest hint of a sweet scent wafts in the porch screen and into our senses on evening walks, causing us to stop abruptly to revel in the old friend, long absent in the icey winter just past. His seasonal affective disorder eases slightly, as does mine. Last week he had about three days of almost normal. Now, we are generous in the use of that word, "normal", but he was pleasant company. Once he told a small joke. A couple times he kidded with me. Small things, to be sure. But way more than we had been getting. My old friend, denial, was witness to these subtle changes and oh so quick to leap back into action. It is so hard to resist the pull, the seduction of small improvements. Instead of just enjoying the time, I leap into old habits of thought. Unfortunately this makes me mad all over again as the relentless nature of the disease brings us right back to the real present...his standing and awaiting direction, every moment, for every action. Hope is brutal that way. Just when I think I am resolved and resigned to what my life has become, small hope blooms and beckons like a springtime flower bud. When it is nipped and altered, I am whipsawed back to reality. My sister and I spent the summer one year, helping my father die. We kept preparing nutritious meals for him and then laughing and crying together over the foolishness of that effort and questioning each other about why we were not just offering whatever he liked and/or wanted, regardless of food value. Something about that experience seems parallel here. Hope is dangerous, but unstoppable.