Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Roller Coaster & the Theme Park

So many of us, parents of a child with progressive disease, refer to our daily existence as a roller coaster ride which given some thought, is very fitting - the constant ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns, sudden loops, dips, and maybe even a brief pause when you think that last drop had to have been the biggest only to learn that there is another and another and then it stops. It stops abruptly. It jolts you forward, slamming you into the safety harness, but your adrenaline is still pumping as you try to figure out which way is up. Your knuckles are white from holding on so tight. Someone releases the safety harness and although you don't know how, it happened none the less. You are free to go, but still you sit, dazed. There is a lot of confusion, clusters of people getting off and new people getting on. You slowly stand up, legs feeling like jello and heart racing. When you got on the ride, you knew it would end, but ride itself is a blur with random moments of clarity. You wonder where you're supposed to go now. Some follow the arrows, some ask for directions, and some seek out those who have who have been on the ride before. Somehow, we all end up corralled in the same gift shop looking at the pictures from each strategically placed camera. Our priceless expressions come into view on the monitor for all to see and a momentary glimpse of the ride has been capsulated in time.

And there it ends, right? The ride is over, the story has ended, but you realize that you're still at the theme park. When does this place close? Where is the exit? You consider the options; try again, try a different ride, maybe you find a park employee and let them know you are lost or just sit tight and wait until it's time to go.


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