The hollows of responsibility

June 13, 2016

 “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

—Khaled Hosseini    

The words trickle out like tear drops drenching the page as my reasoning collides. The guilt baptizes me in this steady torrent of emotions while I examine the connection of heart and mind where my soul holds the answer.

The dissonance of truth seeps like poison from my lips as I arrange this melody of words to soften her. Draped in anxiety I sooth her thoughts with these deceptive stories of calm, simple terms to diminish the fright of change.

Aware of the wound this betrayal will leave I battle to interpret what is real; the strands of her warped connection stain me with denial, as the truth glows in the distance. Her personality explodes in extremes like an interrupted circuit controlling her mind as it spirals downward.

After scores of angry eruptions my heart quickens as her rage blares on, our tears a mixture of commotion while I cope with how we arrived at this place. I fumble for help as her hands claw at my grip; a stranger appears in her ravaged eyes while she stretches to escape the door she just opened.

Struggling to maintain composure as panic slips from my grasp she screams in fits of rage, kicking and scratching as if I am unknown. Trembling to comprehend I call for help as my own terror fills this already frantic scene.

Mauling at her seatbelt while screaming in disgust she stomps in fits on the floor. Flush with confusion and unable to unbuckle she throws a cup my way, any frenzied pursuits to abandon my control.

Tears tumble before her as she desperately assaults me with an arsenal of words she wrestles to find. Her thin skin bleeds from my grip broadening her tirade to charge me for all her pain.

Distributing misery with her collection of resentments I search to recognize the kindness she once wore. Launching a pursuit to untangle the fragments of her behavior and separate the disease from the parent.

Slowly I slide my fingers to the blink of caution while maneuvering for a place to park.  It is here where the adrenalin descends and I come undone in a feast of pity, with my bruised ego and broken heart I am prepared to let go, unable to absorb the harshness I weep, praying for an encompassing calm to anchor me.

The memories of moments ago linger as I notice the childlike behaviors returning to expose another contrast to her fragile existence. Quiet arrives and I am unsure how to proceed as I await the guidance required to get her home.

The griddle warms and I prepare her lunch while she quietly melts at the table. The scent of cheese escapes the pan allowing my thoughts drift to my childhood when this role was reversed and she stood where I am now as we tip the scales of life in a new direction.

Discovering comfort in routine we fill our days with movies, painting and idle crafts and once again she seems content. Her gentle and passive nature lures me towards denial while the doubt of this disease leans heavily on my heart leaving the doors of guilt unbound.

An artist in her former life, it is here where I swallow another piece of her decline. The once vibrant pages she created now scarcely covered in jade, layering every page with a tattered segment of her past and the things she once adored.

Prepared for the next phase we arrange a room where there is comfort in the familiar, our last weekend together in this transitional phase and I hold my breath. The safety I seek for her is now within reach as I strive to maintain the normal facade and continued calm. 

Some days this countdown feels like a finish line I fight to reach while others become a blanket of responsibility piercing my heart as we share tender moments of happiness that relinquish hints to her past like a trail of petals in the fragrant sun.


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  • June 13, 2016 @ 8:23 AM EDT
    By Debbie laruwe

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