I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Dash In Between.

A quote I read from a friend:
"He referred to the dates on her tombstone…from the beginning …to the end …But he said what mattered most of all… was "the dash" between those years". (Linda Ellis, 2005):
I thought about my own “dash” thankfully still continuous. At times the dashes have been shadowed by events that have separated segments of my life as a big bold line between paragraphs.

These lines have been the pendulum on the calendar that dates the dashes in between.

Over time some of them have faded like old ink on a piece of paper. There is the event that forced me into adulthood at a much earlier age than I had wanted. For years I dated everything before and after the moment my stepfather’s drinking got to the point where I had to leave. But eventually it vanished off my memory, the date that is, not the incidents.

In different order than the way I remember them, these incidents still separate segments in my life and probably always will.

What my life was, what happened before I was diagnosed is different to what it was after. I can date most everything using that date as my axis. Where I went, the vacations we took, the people I met, restaurants I visited. My kids’ age, school, games. My daughter’s eight birthday party 2 days after. My son’s emergency room visit caused by the stress an 11 year old should not have to handle and much more. The jobs before, like my job of 14 years ending because of it, the jobs after, the races I ran before and after, my first marathon and more. That big bold line separates my life before and my life after like no other.

Likewise, with the same impetus a painful break up dated my life. The vacations I took before and the ones I took after. The days on the beach – same place I visited before and many times after- pretending I was having a good time; the ones that slowly became more enjoyable as the hurt slowly eased off.

Losing my best friend dated my relationships and the new friends I made and separated them from the ones I had met before.

These bold lines were difficult times in my life that put everything else on hold. Perhaps because the natural course of our lives is to be happy, times that differ from it dig a deeper ditch in our memories. Fighting for one’s life, losing someone we love and ruptures of important relationships are traumatic changes that unequivocally mark our lives.
The bold lines put our faith to the test. Gratefully, there are more dashes to balance it out.