“All along, though, I think I knew that my careful planning was only fear against chaos and the weirdness of the world. But no matter what we do, we can’t avoid trauma or loss or despair. They come into port on surprise tours, the upheaval tourists fanning out and visiting every part of our lives.”~ Jessica Barksdale Inclan, Author of Her Daughter’s Eyes
How these words came back to haunt me, just moments ago as I read another journal entry. The words of a father writing words that no parent every wishes to speak, “my child is dying.” Every parent’s greatest fear is that somehow, despite the safety seats, childproof locks, immunizations, sunscreen, bike helmets, shin guards and helmets, we failed to protect our child from harm.
We cannot protect our children from everything, because life is random, it’s unpredictable, and certainly unfair. We are powerless against a rogue bunch of cells that decide to take up residence and grow inside our precious child. We battle and try to defeat the beast by our sheer determination. Our fierce love pushes us to never, ever give up. We have no choice, but to fight tooth and nail for this precious one.
Sometimes we defeat the beast, and sometimes, despite the heroic efforts on everyone’s part, the beast triumphs. Even if we win, we live in the constant fear that it could return at any moment. We find ourselves constantly scanning the crowd and looking over our shoulders, hoping we won’t recognize that hideous face.
And if in the end, the beast wins, he steals a chunk of our heart, leaving the rest shattered on the floor.
We are left alone, trying to find some way to go on living, knowing even if we learn to laugh again, we will always be broken.