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Nothing is sustainable

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

As I was drifting off to sleep with a carousel of recent events pirouetting in my mind, my brain slingshotted me to the days ahead...

I thought about how I could ensure the kids (alongside my husband and I) enjoy the fullness of the summer by subconsciously planning trips to the beach.

I envisioned summer break coming to a close and a new school year beginning.

I settled further into my pillow as I pictured Houston's scorching heat being abolished by the first cold front of the year. My favorite.

Then my brain jerked back to school...Olivia, and kindergarten.

Wholly and without my permission, my mind sped up like a Rolodex being blown by a vicious wind:

First grade...

Second grade...

Third grade...


With each card, Olivia would elongate and devolve into something a little less recognizable.

Finally, it halted on an image of me stooped over Olivia's sleeping body.

Except she wasn't sleeping.

As if electrocuted, my body scrambled upright.

This image had knocked the very breath from within me, and I instinctually pressed my palm into my chest to persuade it to rise and fall.

"No. No. No." I countered.

I shook my head to dislodge what I'd just seen, what I'd just imagined.

My mind, as if I needed reminding, responded, "But she's going to get worse. You know this. This disease only gets worse."

I reasoned with it, "I know this."

"Do you?"

"I think so."I answered honestly.

My mind examined my visceral response, "Then why can't you breathe?"

I struggled for an answer in the void.

"Because I can't..."

"But you'll have to."

"But I can't."

"But you will."

The conversation dissolved into nothingness.

"...will." I took a deep breath. "...will. I will."

"...will." I laid back and stared at the blacked-out ceiling.

"I will do this to the best of my ability."

"I will not run from the love...nor the pain..."

"I will..."

I inhaled and exhaled until my rigid limbs became limp, my biological functions settling into their initial languid equilibrium, and as I drifted into sleep, heard the whisper, "It's all temporary."

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