How ironic that a holiday ends in tragedy with a train careening out of control outside New York. In my mind, the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving. Holidays bring a season of hope, now tempered by the recognition of loss. How sad that the two coexist.
Our final visit with my father had been in the midst of winter festivities, and then he was gone. I cannot stop myself from taking stock of my own deterioration in these moments. I am not in great shape, yet my life is so full. A happy and successful family with bright futures couple with my own satisfaction of past achievements and current projects. My life is not sad, determined as sometimes I appear to be to see it as so.
I have lost so much. I have so much. I no longer drive or walk more than a block, read voluminously or cook. That is sad. But what I can do is think and write, perhaps making more of my brain than ever before. I am deeply involved in the lives of my wife and grown children. In a way it seems nothing less than criminally self-indulgent to focus on loss.
I have written about individuals with horrible diseases that will take them away from us soon enough. My friend and former colleague died of a deadly brain tumor. What am I complaining about? I expect to be here next year. All of us live with what is mysteriously if not arbitrarily handed to us.
We will never explain or understand how it is we end up on the roads we must travel. Thinking it to death is pointless. “Get out of your head,” a shrink once wisely advised. Just live your life, I remind myself. Do not try to make sense of life.