Monday Aphorism: Our Child’s Illness


Hardened, I, we, to the possibilities of hard times, of accidents, exigencies, sickness, nastiness, loneliness – whatever. Always surprised: never surprised. Each day magnified to an equal portion with all of life, it’s all amazing. Each sadness hurts, still, as we know well how to find the places of hurt within us, and how to milk them for all they may be worth. Also, the happinesses. It all seems fair within the game of life’s chances.

What hurts so deeply, still, and for which there has been…can be, no hardening, no feelings powerful enough to dwell within, are the sicknesses and accidents which overtake our children.

Not prepared; there is no preparation I know or want to know. My…responsibility? No possible justice here. Somehow it is my fault, our fault, that they are here. Their lives should be…easy, unattacked, not their fault? How silly.

I understand, almost adjust to life’s shortenings, accepting the worst in my life’s (im)possibilities. It’s the part that comes afterward; whatever is young, whatever has sustained me thus far, that seems like it should be, should remain simple and clean: parents sicken and die; children live.

Like I somehow own the germs and viruses, have fought them, bought them off. They have tricked me, made my child ill, and there’s nothing I can do beyond helping breathe into them, the breaths of the life I know, and hope it works…still.

We are old, our children young. It seems unfair, horrible, against the very principles of life, that they might be at great risk. And what to do…in case the worst…happens.