Thursday, July 16, 2009

Seasons Change.

It started at my annual appointment with my pediatrician when I was seven, possibly even six, he would ask me to touch my toes so he could check the curvature of my spine. Although he told me what he was doing, I didn't really understand what it meant when he said that he wanted me to do special exercises to ensure that my spine would grow strong and healthy. I simply did as I was told and thought, like most kids, that I was invincible, that nothing bad could ever happen to me and nothing could ever break me down not in mind, spirit, and especially not in body. Everything about my life was normal, my parents had a stable marriage, I had a little brother that I got along well with, I was an A student, I was took piano lessons, and played soccer. I was completely normal and I thought that would never change.

Every year, after my physical, my pediatrician, pat me on the head, gave me a sugar free lollipop, told me to be a good girl and study hard and do my exercises and he would see me next year. Then I would leave and not think about going to the doctor again until next year rolled around. Little did I know that, behind closed doors after my appointment as

Thanks Serolynne!

I blissfully played building blocks in the waiting room, my parents were learning that their normal daughter may not be so normal after all. I sometimes wonder what it feels like to hear news like that. I imagine life to be like a remote, undiscovered lake: calm and placid, rippled only occasional by a breeze or rainfall that temporarily moves the tide, but the overall peacefulness of the lake remains.

Over time, as things change and seasons pass, someone happens upon the lake and everything changes. It starts as being one person's oasis and before you know it the word spreads and people start congregating at the lake every summer. The lake becomes disturbed as children come to play and swim,

Thanks Seuss in NC!

fathers teach sons to fish, older brothers show their sisters how to skip rocks, and the entire landscape of the lake changes and destroys the serene environment that once was, after which things will never be the same. The lake will always be haunted by remnants of the time when people came and spoiled the tranquility of life. From now on the lake knows that it cannot exist alone, but will have to bear the burden that comes with change. This must be how my parents felt. A gradual acknowledgement, understanding, and then acceptance of a life and a family that had been disrupted, a family that enjoyed a peace that was now broken and could never be repaired and every happiness from here on out would be under the guise of the season that brought unforgettable change.

Where does one find the strength to continue after knowing something like this? How do parents continue smiling at their child when they have a secret that changes their child's life in such monumental ways? Can a child detect the sadness in a smile? Can a child detect a parent's pain? No, because all i saw when I looked into my father's eyes was the love that he always had when he looked at me, his eyes never betrayed him. And for my sake, I'm glad they didn't.


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