Features

Let Me Up, I’ve Learned Enough

It is said that everything happens for a reason. Although while something is occurring, the “why” of all may not appear clear, down the road, things have a way of explaining themselves. Many things have happened in my life that I wished had not, at least at the time. When my father passed away, lonely and confused on a government hospital bed, I saw no good that could come from that. Now, ten years later, that experience is helping me cope with my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. Even though nearly every conversation with her is a struggle that puts my patience to the test, I know in my heart that I can care and provide for her without losing my sanity in the process.

When I lost things that I thought were “forever” – marriages, a child living in town – I saw nothing good that could result from it. Now I understand that perhaps until you have lost something, you can’t really appreciate its value. I cherish moments with the people in my life more now than I ever did before, simply because I know that they can be gone (either by my own actions or those of someone else) in an instant. I have learned from my mistakes, I hope – and heavens knows I made some really big ones – but from them, I learned to accept a greater measure of responsibility about my life and actions. Hard lessons, but I’m slowly learning. When my mother was diagnosed years ago with breast cancer, I was frightened to think of her gone. But she had caught it early, got treatment, and was free of it until this January. This experience made the both of us stronger – steel molded in a painful forge, to be sure, but stronger.

All of these things have gotten me to where I am today. Older, wiser, and stronger than I was before they occurred. Each event felt insurmountable as it played out. Each time I thought “this is it, I’m down for the count.” And each time, I was proven wrong. But recently, an event occurred that has scared me more than any I have ever faced before. A firmness under my fingers, a shadow on an X-Ray of a loved one, and again a chance exists for me to gain more of life’s education. But this time, I don’t want to get any stronger. I don’t want to watch someone suffer again. I’ve reached my quota of life lessons, thank you very much.

So to whoever is in charge of the big classroom, I have a request for you:

Let me up, I’ve learned enough.


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