The sixth grade gym teacher said: “RUN!” And so his students ran. They ran and ran and ran laps around the school yard, a simple little country school.
The class ran and ran, including one tired classmate, being practically dragged along behind her sighted guide, finally unable to run another lap, not even one more step. She fell to the ground, feeling and smelling the cool tickle and scent of the grass against her cheek, but feeling close to death, hardly caring if she ever got up again.
She was. Close, horrifyingly close, but nobody knew it.
A long, long time ago and very far away, there lived a frightened little girl. She felt like she couldn’t hack it, any of it.
Homework was a nightmare. Math especially filled her with dread at the prospect.
The doctor dismissed her symptoms.
“Her stomach pains are just the start of menstruation,” the GP stated emphatically.
He said it, even as the mother kept bringing her daughter back, time after time. Finally, her shaky hand and general appearance of being unwell would seem to warrant blood tests and a referral. Thank God for that.
Twenty years ago seems so far away to me now. If it had been too far back or longer than long, things wouldn’t have turned out like they did. Medicine has come a long, long way.
Dialysis. Transplantation. Twenty years ago all this was possible. Just twenty years before that and the twenty before that, not so much.
Sometimes it feels like another girl lived all that, another life, and one that wasn’t me. Was I really that frightened little girl?
This week’s triumphant return of mine to Finish the Sentence Friday, brought to you by:
Life is a little like that. Sometimes, things blow up for us, all around us, and we’re left to pick up the pieces.
I’m still picking up those pieces, shards of the life I had then and a life that could have been.
It is what it now is, because of that long, long time and far far away.