How am I? I don’t know that either. But I suppose my answer must be the same.
I do not know. I cannot know. And when I do have a moment of knowing, things change, and it changes me, so I don’t know anymore.
I’m on a ride I’m not sure I’d have chosen, but I know I would refuse to get off.
It is better than I’d hoped, yet worse than I had feared it might be. But I cannot leave and I’m in no great hurry for things to be any different than they were in that last moment, in this moment now, even though I don’t know how they are.
I do know some things. I love my son for being on this ride with me. I ache for my Dad because he’s the reason we’ve driven here to ride along as far as we can go.
And I do know that I am so grateful for the ones who take care of a man they don’t know, because they, unlike me, know exactly how he is.
They know because they know him in a way I don’t. They know, because they’ve seen so many of him get on and off this ride before him.
I bet if I ask them, they know how I am, too. They’ve seen as many versions of me as they’ve seen of my Dad. They know I am frightened, but still hopeful.
They know I’m along for a ride I don’t want to be on, and they know I won’t give up and get off.
They take care of my Dad, and they take care of me while I struggle to figure out these answers.
For now, though, I am tired. So I need to give up trying to figure out how I am, how he is, how my son is. We’re all here for the moments, we won’t give up or get off the ride, however rocky it turns out to be. And that’s probably about all we can know for now.
~ cj 2012.05.10