Okay, I did it. I just kept on keeping on. I did it alone and I did it for a long time. Nobody told me how or told me to stop trying. So I did it all. I had babies and kept them alive. I had a life and friends and a home and things. I even had tupperware. Fake tupperware, but serviceable. I had pets and bible studies and parties and I baked thanksgiving turkeys which served guests on matching plates. And I filled out FAFSAS and worked for the summers and bought used cars and packed them full and went on road trips. I cried when I moved away from home and I left my Mom and Dad. I graduated colleges and succeeded at teaching jobs and failed at jobs I wish I hadn’t.
If I did cease to exist on this planet and went on to bigger and better things, finally, I could say that I did good things. I could say that I accomplished a lot. I could say that I cooked a mean turkey and knew how to raise babies. I could say I went to some great schools and know how to fill out a form or two.
I could also say, though, that I am afraid that I haven’t done enough. I can say that I am afraid that for the sake of doing the best by my children, I have not done the best by myself or rather for myself. I really don’t know. Somehow it is all a blur of survival and happiness, survival and joy, survival and succession, survival and next, next, next. There has never been time for thought or planning or questions about what should be next, only what is next. Next just inevitably comes at every turn, without fear or wondering. Next happens whether I am ready or not.
And then there has always been my struggle. My constant in this world is that I can not maintain the physical world the same way others do. The physical to me is like a runaway pet. I try to keep it under control, tie it up, keep it tame, as it were, and it always gets away from me. I try to hide the out of control, ugly shameful hinderance and it always shows itself. I went years without it showing. I fooled the world. I even made children with my physical body. But I couldn’t hide it for long. After a time, the ugly showed again, the struggle came back, and I had to fight again. Then I had another short run of time without a fight. And then, again, a struggle. And then death and life again. It is my pattern. and every time I repeat the pattern of win, fight, death, life, cheat, run, hide, strife, struggle. And again: win, fight, death, life, cheat, run, hide, strife, struggle – it gets a little worse, a bit harder to do, to maintain. And every time I pull through the victor of my own challenge, I am a little more tired, a littlle more weary of the fight, the struggle, the challenge of this life.
If I could stay asleep a bit longer sometimes, I would. I need the good dreams of this waking life to keep me interested and excited. My children are my dream now. I have done everything else. And I have no more future than them. I am excited about their future. They give me my reasons for staying and fighting. Or, quite simply, I woulnd’t. It is just too hard a fight without them.