Observations from the Days of My Life

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"What in the world is happening?”

For months Carolyn had been actively struggling, paving her way to write a book of fiction -- yes, a novel, even though it would largely be based upon significant events from her own life. And, those events were actually of earth-shattering magnitude, and would surely fuel the creation of a best-seller, possibly even a Pulitzer, though she felt that would be unlikely since it would be her first book. In the past few days, though, undeniably providential events had occurred that had begun to extinguish her burning need to document and publish her lifetime.

Now, there in her living room, through the magic of television, even that thought was being interrupted, by James Garner (as Noah) while he poignantly and passionately embraced Gena Rowlands (as Allie, his scripted, beloved wife in "The Notebook”) upon her momentous awakening from a debilitating and chronic dementia. Sadly, she soon reverted to an agitated and confused state, lost to him again. Carolyn ached to the depths of her soul, because she was reminded of her own emotional injuries. It was incredible to her to think that she, herself, should now have arrived at old age in such mournful circumstances.

She had drawn her first breath of life so long ago in an October snow of a cold world, though warmed by the adoration of her mother and father. Her mother’s happiness might be marred now, even though she watches her only daughter’s life from Heaven.

Perhaps God in His kindness drops a curtain that does not allow mothers to see a cherished child’s duress. Surely, He does something like that, she thought. He had already revealed His great love for this now aged child, in a very special dream, when she was in the second grade. She had accepted Him as her Savior at a small Wesleyan Methodist Church summer Bible school session more than sixty years ago, and her mother had surely died in His grace.

Carolyn erased concern that her mother might be a witness to her present suffering and went to the kitchen to wash a hefty collection of dirty dishes from the weekend. These days, she didn’t often wash dishes, because of the arthritic condition of her spine which stubbornly resisted tasks requiring her to hold her arms outstretched before her while standing for longer than five or six minutes at a time. She made it through most of the dishes, though, before seeking the comfort of her recliner.

After a while, her attention shifted to the sight of her open laptop computer, sitting securely on a tilt upon the handy little wheeled table that she had assembled with great difficulty from a kit she bought a few months earlier, purely on impulse, at the neighborhood Walgreen Pharmacy. It offered her genuine comfort when it digitized her emotions from strokes upon its keys, validating her melancholy when she was able to see her pain in literary terms. “Yes! That precisely describes my feelings, and anyone interested will be able to understand me.” Sometimes she felt a little silly that she should find solace in this manner, but it was truly therapeutic.

Within the passing of only the next few days, however, tension and conflicts piled up with an almost unbearable crescendo among members and frequent participants in her household. She sat in her velvet-upholstered apricot armchair, surrounded by her tormentors, and pondered the factors of her pandemonium, seeking some avenue that might offer her quick relief, but there seemed no hope for the peace and order so necessary to relieve the hellish cacophony! Could no one see what they were doing to her, the ravaged peacemaker? And she realized that she would probably not ever have the peace needed to actually write her novel. After long consideration, she decided she would just write short stories – better than writing nothing at all. The engaged reader will be able to blend them together and realize that, by this method, she had truly written her “book.”

1 comment:

  1. I will be anxious to read the short stories, I do wish there could be peace in your household, I pray there will be. [Jonalyn]