Cuz there are moments when fire rains down from the mountains and the roads you expect to host your travels are wiped from existence.
Instead of worrying about how closely you ought to follow the rules of the road you start wondering how to blaze a trail through unfriendly land.
That is good for books and movies but less good for real life situations in which the consequences can’t be adjusted by clever writing.
It Is A Question Of When To Ask For Help
We’re in the great game now and the very best part is the worst too–there are no rules.
Ok, there are a few but only vague outlines of such and they don’t include sign of symbols we can use to guide our journey.
There are no pillars of fire or clouds leading the way and the path ahead is unclear.
So we reach the part where I acknowledge there is going to be a time to ask for help and supplement it with the caveat that I am not good at it.
Some of it is a trust issue- I don’t worry about Lucy snatching the ball away at the last minute when I take lead.
That doesn’t negate my recognition of the need to find and cultivate other resources because I know the importance of doing so.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss and sometimes it offers a great way to crash your car and be struck by the fire from the sky.
How To Use A Key
The fire breathing version of myself has surfaced again and he is railing about being purposeful and intentional with what we do.
Headphones go on and music accompanies the intense focus upon the 99 problems and the quest for a solution.
Family recognizes now is not the time to ask frivolous questions because the bull is at the edge of the water.
Perhaps this is more proof that the sins of the father are visited upon the son because I am familiar with being on the other side of the glare that must reside upon my face.
Chemo has made dad a step slower and a bit fuzzy headed.
I keep looking for the sharp edges knowing they aren’t there right now. It is surreal to feel for the time I am the only Wilner man who is on top of his game.
This will not be how it is forever and it is not impossible to think I could be knocked off of my rock.
It is why I am digging in and planting my feet.
I have to hold the line and find ways to help manage a few things.
It can be done.
The funny part of all of this is how very different some of my major concerns were not so long ago.
They were well founded and based upon reality but they were different from now.
Still significant, but they felt…different.
Maybe this is why I like thinking about the different uses for a key. The ways it can be used to open doors so that you don’t have to knock down walls or climb through windows.
Or maybe I like that you can use a key to poke the bad guys in the eye.
Who Will You Run To?
One of the guys asks me what I plan on doing when the inevitable comes.
“Who will you run to and what will you do?”
I shrug my shoulders.
“How do I answer that? I can tell you about texts I have exchanged with loved ones who lost a parent. Some of them took place the day of the funeral and some on other days. I hope I said the right things but who can know. Grief is personal.”
He pushes me to think about it.
“It might help more than you realize.”
I nod and smile.
“You know some people will maintain their distance from me because they don’t know what to say or don’t want to get drawn in. Others will surprise me and reach out. I can’t say who or when.”
This time he is the one to nod and smile.
“You make this more difficult than it needs to be.”
“There are no rules. You don’t read my blog posts and haven’t any sense of how much thinking I do.”
“Do you want me to read it?”
“It is up to you. Just understand there are boundaries and I won’t write about everything. Nor will you necessarily know what or whom I am referring to. Sometimes it is a combination of people/things. I like to write.”
He says that sounds reasonable and asks me if I know how many people read my posts.
“I used to care about that, but not so much these days. That might change again, or it might not. I just want to write and work on getting better at telling stories people want to read.
What Do You Think?
Dad asks me for my opinion on a topic that he never would have before and it reminds me of the past.
Somewhere around 15 years or so ago we had a conversation about work, parenthood and life.
“You understand things better than you once did. You can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.”
“No, you can’t. That line doesn’t bother me anymore. I get it now.”
“Yeah, I think you do.”
My teenagers lay into me about something I have done. I try not to smile at their unified front knowing they won’t interpret it as my being pleased as a father.
They’ll think I am trying to mess with them.
“I suggest you both tread carefully. It is not a level playing field and you haven’t earned the right to come at me with the kind of fire I hear below the surface.”
“Dad, you’re making us very angry.”
“Good, I am somewhere beyond angry in that secret world that lies between here and reality. You know the made up one you two are talking about.
Life isn’t fair.
I am not a superhero. I am a regular guy doing his best to be brave for five minutes longer.”
There is a soft pause, followed by a quiet question.
“Dad, what do you think is going to happen?”
“I don’t know for certain. Only thing I know is we’ll do our best and things will work out one way or another. ”
It is not a lie or an exaggeration. I believe it.
I just hope there are fewer bumps in the road than I expect and if I am wrong, well I guess help is available.
Time will tell.