I am normally very cautious about hope. Many things in my life seem out of my control and wishing they were different seems an insubstantial sort of hope and one destined to let you down more often than not. Much is hard. Some things are very hard and I wish I felt better. It is not so much rather or not any particular battle is won. I am just sick of battles.
Overtime I have become a very resilient person, not so much because of any particular knowledge or skills or qualities I have. I am not as wise as many people I know. I am not as strong. I am not as brave nor do I have any particular moral stature. None of these things are true.
I just don’t have any choice.
Life, particularly over the last 4 years, has become so much about not drowning that sometimes I don’t remember a lot about dry land.
I think it is really hard not to let what is hard or difficult in life define you. I know that it does not but there are times, I confess, where many of the things I know I struggle to believe. I do feel like a failure. I do feel desperate and there are times I wonder why so much is so hard and how in the world I blew things so bad.
But I also know that the things that feel most true are often not and that what feels most urgent is not always most important. I have learned sometimes the best thing to do is wait.
One of the most hurtful things that has ever happened to me is probably on any objective scale not that bad. I lost my car. Like all things it finally just died. I lived in poverty and had no hope I could see of getting another one (and honestly still don’t).
The injury was much more than about a car. Many people I know live without a car. My lack of a car was no more horrible than what many of them had lived with for years.
The injury for me was personal. Most importantly it meant for me I could not adequately care for my wife at one of the hardest times of her life. I remember walking one night 10 miles to get meds to control seizures she had been without for two days. It was not just an inconvenience for me but in a real sense an assault on her.
It was not just how to get somewhere but about the kind of person I was. Many many needs just didn’t get met and each time it cut me to the quick. Everything was hard. Everything was an ordeal. She didn’t have access to bus transportation and sometimes the only way for her to get food was for me to walk to the store and then walk it 4 or 5 miles to her. I learned quickly that buses didn’t always go where I wanted and that walking was a real part of life.
I hated it and everything it meant about life and everything it meant about me.
Right now I feel really bad. Really, really bad. Down to the core of my being bad. Someone yesterday offered me a car. It was an answer to prayer and a life changing event I never really thought would happen. I was soaring. When I got there I saw that it was a stick shift and I can’t drive a stick shift. I have tried multiple times to learn and failed spectacularly each time. I didn’t think to ask and they didn’t think to tell. Nobody’s fault. Just the way it was. Their heart was in the right place and the effort tremendous. A month ago another good friend and it was the same problem again…. A stick shift.
It was horrible to tell them I couldn’t accept their care. It was worse to tell Linda. We had plans. And I had to tell her the nightmare was not over.
She knows me better than anyone else and simply said, “This breaks your heart doesn’t it…..” And it was then I realized how right she was.
It sounds stupid to say I am grieving something I never had but I guess I am. Nothing is changed and nothing is solved and God I so badly wanted it to be. I don’t know if a car is in our future or not. It sure feels like not to me right now and I think really hard things are ahead.
I know I will be much more cautious with hope next time.
For a couple of days I will not be the best person in the world to know but I will bounce back. I just don’t have any choice.
Tomorrow will be cold here. Really cold. It will be a bad day to be on the road.
Many people here have been so supportive to both Linda and me and it means a lot. We will be okay and it is important that you know that. Many of you also know that sometimes life seems to offer few choices.
We do what we have to do and do the best we can and get up tomorrow to do the same thing. All of us.
You take good care and thank you.