Blind Spot

Blind spot

I love my children, wife, and dog, not necessarily in that order. Yet, there are times I think I have a blind spot. Love is a weird emotion; it does not always have clear logical vision. I try to tell myself the vision is never clear when the heart is connected. Although I know as a man I am supposed to know the difference between love and reality. The reality of life we try to hide in amongst the wonderful reality of love. I say the reality of love because one day I know my daughter will ask me “Daddy, when do you know you are in love?’ I really do not have a concise answer because I know in part it is a spiritual connection. How do you explain the reality of love? Like the love between the creature and his creator? Scientist will never understand the equation. If they do not believe the soul is real then you cannot equate that into any compilation.

Life seems to whip by with a few speed bumps along the way. My daughter was born with jaundice they said it was normal she spent two days inside an incubator. That was our first speed bump the next few were the childhood illnesses, measles, mumps, colds, flu. Nothing really big came along until she was in her teens. Here is where the rubber hits the road. This is where your faith, love and hope are challenged.

My wife Linda and I are shaken to the core as we hold each other’s hands while walking down the cold, highly lit hallway of the hospital. Nurses, doctors and indeterminate personal are scurrying from one emergency to the next. No one to ask where our daughter is let alone how she is.

Carla has been a challenge since she reached puberty. She would challenge every rule as she broke them. We thought we finally reached the end of this bump in the road when in her sophomore year she made the list of top students in her class. She was voted class president and the girl most likely to succeed. Carla was coming into her own. Her specialty was biology and science. She wanted to be an astronaut of all things.

Linda answered the door when the police officers informed us that Carla had been hurt. The only information they gave us was she was at county hospital. Nothing of the incident or what caused her injuries.

Linda and I walked into her intensive care cubicle, the sight of her with tubes in her arm, nose, and abdomen. Her legs were both in casts; her neck had a brace on it. If it were not for the tattoo just below her right ear we could not have recognized our daughter with her face so disfigured.

We stood silently staring at our beloved little girl. I glanced over at Linda and noticed she had the same silent tear on her cheek as I did. Linda looked up at me as she turned we grabbed each other sobbing hoping to cleanse the evil from the room.

Many of my more liberal friends call me phobic. Mostly because I disagree with their view of the world and politics, I would much rather people attain professional help instead of going through radical physical changes to themselves and their lives. My friends say I lack empathy due to my lack of education. I respectfully disagree.

Finally a nurse came in asking if we were Carla’s parents. We said yes. She told us that a detective Bryant had asked to be called when we arrived; he wanted to speak to us. We tried asking the nurse for more information in regards to Carla’s injuries. The nurse said that she felt it was best to speak to the detective and that the doctor would consult with us in a couple of hours after all the blood tests and radiology came back.

Linda and I settled into the two small chairs that were available and waited for Detective Bryant. The only sounds in the room were the beeps and squawks of the machines  tending to our Carla’s needs.

I went down to the cafeteria to grab two coffees; by the time I came around the corner I noticed a tall lean man in a grey suit walk into Carla’s room. I reached the door to hear him introduce himself as Detective Bryant.

To sum up what Detective Bryant wanted to know about Carla and her activities nearly brought me to my knees: “Did you know that Carla was involved with a young woman who is going through gender transition surgery. The young woman who goes by the name of Tracy used to be Carla’s boyfriend Tom.”

I stood shaking my head while I said: “We had no idea. What does this have to do with Carla’s injuries?”

Detective Bryant answered: “Carla was in the girl’s restroom at school with Tracy, they were having a heated discussion about the surgery when another female entered and started to butt into the conversation, interjecting her advocacy for the surgery. Carla was heard to tell this girl that this was a private conversation. Carla also stated she felt the reason for Tracy/Tom’s decision was due to his relationship with his dad. At this point another girl walked in and joined the conversation. By the time the incident ended there were 4 girls screaming and getting irate with Carla. They were the ones that caused the injuries. Tracy is also in intensive care for trying to protect Carla.”

I was numbed by the information, angry by the evil intent of those who disagree with someone’s point of view; this causes more harm than it does solve a growing issue.  Linda looked up at me and asked: “Are the lambs being silenced?”


Just a note to those who follow this blog

Many times there are special people who come into your life. They either inspire you or encourage you. Fred(is a therapy dog) and I have been visiting an elder lady for about 6 months. We talk about everything. She has such a great since of humor even about the things she can’t remember. Her favorite line is “Must not have been important.”

Recently I spoke of my son and his wife, showed her my granddaughter’s photo. She asked where they lived. I told her, as it turns out she grew up there. So I talked her through each street, the county building, downtown. She shared what she remembered of the town. Near the end of our conversation she told me her birthday is tomorrow. I asked her how old she is. She said she did not know but she does remember she was born in 1932. She is 21 years older than I am. 84 years old. Nary a negative thing to say.

As Fred and I were walking her back to her room I said “I want to be you when I grow up.”

She said “No! you want to be better! You want to still walk your dog.”

She adores Fred. I love this lady.

One day when we were talking she asked me what I did for a living. I told her about the time I owned a nail salon. I told her that I found out at age 59 I was dyslexic. After I caught her up to the present time. Explaining to her what blogging is and how I started writing short stories and poems. Told her a friend talked me into writing a book and self-publishing it. We laughed at the fact I could not stop myself I wrote and self-published 5 books that have only sold 6 copies, I gave away 4 books. No one has read yet. I share with her that now I am writing for a small paper hoping to learn enough to move to a more circulated paper.

Her advise to me was “keep writing even if no one reads or responds. That is a gift you give yourself and your granddaughter who may turn out to be dyslexic as well. You reached for the moon. She can too.”

I love this lady.

Fretting away

Fretting away

Wringing of ideas

Fretting away time

Berating the circumstance

Making my worst fear

The reality wrenching

my heart as I watch

Life slowly leaves

a vibrant love

Should we have darned

the sock before this

walked until it became

thread barren

Now its useless substance

which once was new

with possibilities is now

tattered emotions

Depleted of rational thought

Anger clings to resentment

Forgiveness is afar off

Or may be not possible

Trust is shredded

As heart and soul

ripping those who were

one flesh apart

now they are two souls

No longer one

Beyond the Mirror

Quiet Solitude

Quiet Solitude

I came home to check on my parents. Both are in their 70’s. Neither wanting help. They would be the last to ask. There is a Hospice palliative team that comes regularly for my mom. She is suffering with cancer. My dad has Alzheimer. The palliative team does not stay 24/7. There is a private night nurse that comes to stay. Also volunteers from my parents church during the day.

I asked the nurse if I should move back home. My job is in another state. I work as a genetic engineer at a college in Iowa. The work we do is important. It is also dependent upon a grant and results. The nurse said I would know.

I am drawn by feelings of guilt not by necessity. My dad walks around in quiet solitude. Not remembering the harshness he pressed upon me as a child. Nor does he remember the fists that caused such carnage on my mom that she ended up in emergency. It does not seem fair to her or me. He should be the one to be dying of cancer not her. She deserves the quiet solitude in her last days. Not the ravaging torture of this disease. Hasn’t her body taken enough beatings?

My guilt is that I do not want to be near my dad. I want to take care of my mom. I finally voiced these issues with the nurse. She said I could place my dad in an Alzheimer facility. She gave me references. My dad is a bigot. I vetted the facility chose the one that if he had clarity at any given day he will be incensed. That is the only solace I will have.

I took a leave of absence to take care of my mom. While sitting holding her hand she quietly went to the sleep of the precious solitude. Her new body will glow with the angels.

Christine Swiderski’s Bookstore