Thursday, June 23, 2011

End Of The Rope Determination

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week?

"If you don't want to move for yourself, do it for your daughter," my mother's physician pleaded, "She's concerned about your welfare, always writing letters and calling me." The doctor, her hands palm to palm in the fold of her skirt's fabric, seemed to pray.
"Is she really?" My mother appeared surprised, pleased even and indignant.
"Yes," the doctor looked at me, "It's difficult for her, living so far away."
"I understand, but I don't want to leave. I'm staying here. This is my home, this is where I wish to die."
The look on her face was triumphant. Earlier in the week she had fooled a geriatric psychiatrist and a psychologist who arrived by car at the crossroads between forest and fields to evaluate her capacity to live by herself in the old dilapidated farmhouse.
"As long as people do no harm to themselves or others we have to reason to deem them incapable, the psychiatrist told me. 
Same old, same old, I thought. My intelligent paranoid psychotic mother knew exactly how to play the others. The gentlemen belonged to the club of outsiders, not she.

"Go pack our suitcases," I said to my husband, trembling inside.
He got up, but hesitated, his hands on the back of his chair.
Remembering our arrival, seeing my mother's bent shape through the window, her spine broken by four spontaneous fractures, the protruding vertebrae ... I insisted, "Go pack. Please?"
"Why, where are you going?" my 79-year old mother glanced from my husband her "number one son" to me, her only child.
"We're leaving and we're not coming back, not ever. We can't stand seeing you live like this and you refuse to move. You say you want to die here, and you surely will. And we're not going to watch you do so under these circumstances. We're out of here." 
One moment of silence during which I tried not to blink. 
"All right then," she said, "I'll go."

End of my rope determination is what I need to challenge myself, to push over the hump before the finish line. I will surprise myself and receive the answer I've been waiting for, merely by continuing the way I am going, perseverance, fist on the table —with the knowledge that it's time to act.

This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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