Monday, January 14, 2008
At the End of My Rope
I have this image in my head of my life as a rope with the end frayed into dozens of smaller ropes or strings or threads. Each of those connect to someone in my life. Some of them are thick and sturdy. Some are hardy, but not as strong as those first. Most are weak, really, and ready to unravel into nothingness. Some have already unraveled completely, and there is no one holding them on the other side.
I’ve still got a solid rope on my end, but it’s who is on the other side which determines the strength of that end. I guess that’s not entirely true, as I, too, have some power over how thick the rope remains on the other end. For my children and my husband and my mom, both ends of the rope is sturdy, seemingly unbreakable. I say “seemingly” because I know that, as is the case with the other end which used to connect to my father, the other end can become nothing.
My sister’s end of the rope is nearly as strong. My brothers’ ends, not so much. It takes two people to make a taut, strong rope. The rope connecting to Lori varies in strength as distance can take a toll, as can obligations to holding other people up can. I see the connection with her growing stronger. The rope connecting to J. is currently thick on her end, but I see a future of frazzling on the horizon.
Since I left work 18 months ago, I’ve seen ends magically disappearing, as if part of a magician’s sleight of hand work. People with whom I spoke with and worked with and talked with and laughed with for years now hold either no wisp or just the tiniest of threads. A few have stronger ends, overcoming time and distance.
I met Yung and her two kids at a mall yesterday. We hung out with my two youngest, first at Build-a-Bear Workshop, then at the McDonald’s, then the play area at the mall. My boy and her boy are about 10 months apart. They had a blast. And Daughter adored her little two-year-old girl.
I hadn’t seen her in eight months, but that was only noticeable by the growth of the kids. I miss her. It was that visit which made me realize how many people have come in and out of my life. People who were so important to me in my past, I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a line-up today. For all I know, some are dead or in prison or not the people they were. I really don’t know who they are or where they are or if they are. All I know is that there’s no one on the other side of the rope.
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