Blog 2309 – 02.18.2022
Sometimes when our current circumstances or those of a loved one are so overwhelming it is good that we can use our imagination to escape for a few moments of rest and relaxation. Mostly because of my misspent youth in a narrow fundamentalist religious tradition where smoking, alcohol, dancing, and drugs were forbidden I have never considered those alternatives for comfort and escape. I did however as all children do develop quite an imagination calling up at will images in my mind to rival even the pearly gates and gold streets of John’ heaven in the Revelation.
The first time I ever watched Gene Wilder’s version of the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory story I saw it with my daughter Emily when she was a girl. Those of you have followed this blog for a time know that Emily died just after her thirty-second birthday in July of 2012. Only a parent who has lost a child can know how difficult that scenario is. It is so unnatural, children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around.
When Emily was ten I had married another woman other than her mother and we had a new baby boy and she had a new little brother. Linda and I were almost forty when Jonathan arrived so we hoped that we would live long enough to see him grown, through school, and out on his own. He was twelve when his sister died. None of her family and friends ever imagined that she would precede us all in death.
Reality, so called, is alway presenting us with hard and challenging circumstances. I can understand the sore mind and heart wishing to escape from some if not all of them. Emily’s birth mother, my third wife Sandra has suffered from a bipolar schizophrenia condition off and on all of her adult life even having to be institutionalized for over a year twice since her early twenties. We were married seven years and have been friends far longer so I have suffered too just watching her distress. I have often posed the question: “Who hurts the most, the person actually suffering or the one who loves them, watching their loved one, completely helpless to stop their hurting?” In the Bible story of Jesus crucified, who hurt more Jesus nailed to tree or his father watching a fate play out that even he could not permit himself to stop?
I do not claim to be an expert on love or pain, but they come to us often so entwined that they are so difficult to tell apart that some vow never to love again to spare themselves the pain. It does not work that way. As the old saying goes, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” The heart wants to love and loving sometimes hurts and there is just no getting around that. But there is a way to get through it and that is pure imagination – to see ourselves and our loved ones safe and sound on the other side of trouble and pain. How we hope against hope that is here and with us now, but if not this time, one of these times, it will not work out that way.
Those of us who believe in a life or lives after this one take comfort in the thought that our dearly departed loved ones live on and that we will too after this life is over for us, and that we will see and be with them again.
On business I have been parted from my one true wife, Linda Lee Stokes, often for periods of six months or more these last almost ten years. I retired from that traveling work just before Christmas and we had spent together every day till this last trouble came upon us a week ago. Yesterday, Linda was transferred from the medical hospital where our son and I took her against her will to be treated for what we could only assume was some sort of mental breakdown as she was not acting herself at all. Yesterday, Linda was transferred to a behavioral hospital a little farther away, but only a few miles, to be treated psychologically. She will not be allowed any visitors while she is there. My son and I hope, as do all who know and love her, that the doctors and nurses can force her to take medicine, eat and drink, and get her back to her base line behavior in short order. God knows that is how we hope it all works out this time. If it doesn’t we will all do the best we can and imagine a happy ending, a happier life for her next time. Am I giving up? Never and not at all. I am a guy who tried for over twenty years to believe there was no God and failed, I have tried even longer to believe that the concept of “soul mates” was just some romantic bull shit, but I have met my soul mate and am sure in my heart that we have found each other in countless lives before and will again should these adventure end here for one of us before the other.
In one of Linda’s and my favorite books and movies, Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook” the screen writers revised the book ending to have the couple die together, but even soulmate lovers rarely get to go out together on “the buddy plan” and so one is left behind most always to wait on transportation that seems slow to arrive. Oh, we, like all true lovers do, have asked to be allowed to go together, but as that might be too hard on our son and family and friends who love us I have volunteered to be the one left behind. I do have quite a few years of daily blogs yet to write that should keep me busy for awhile.
I am not ready to let go of my Baby, but then I never will be, nor do I intend to. Linda, if you don’t come back to me here, I will find you and sooner in our next life so that we will have even more time together and any traveling we do will be together too. We still have not seen Paris together this time, so please come home.
Your friend and fellow traveler,