Friday, March 26, 2004

Today is the day when my son may, or may not, be moved from his facility to some yet-to-be-determined location. The facility that has cared for Jon may, or may not, be closed due to unspecified "deficiencies". I found this out on Tuesday, giving me a few short days to make phone calls trying to find out why this was happening and where he would be moved to. I never got past the first layer of protection all important members of society, like governors and senators have around them. The various voices on the phone assured me that their bosses were very interested in health care issues and that these issues would be looked into. This is a form of humor, I guess, and I suppose these rote answers are printed on a card for the people who answer the phones to read. I say this because the exact same words occur on the phone, on the web sites, in form letters sent to my home. For over 3 years our family has been reassured that Hillary and George and Chuck and the others are interested in health care issues and will do everything to see to it that the matter is looked into.

I think this "looking into" is done with the same enthusiasm that a new father looks into a diaper from which strange rumblings and odors are observed.

Meanwhile my son may or may not be in his bed. May or may not be well. May or may not be on his way to some yet-to-be-disclosed location, which may, or may not be somewhere closer than the 100 miles away he currently finds himself.

I am told that I should try to find part time work so I can bring in a paycheck to feel better about myself. I feel just fine about myself, except that I am unable to protect my family from the strange society in which we live. I have no problem keeping the house clean and food waiting hot on the table for the real breadwinner, the one with the college degree and the drive to excel. I don't mind hiding in my studio to avoid the inane, sexist, racist conversation so common in the civil engineering world. The only marketable skill I had was drafting and now the engineering world has acquired enough software to eliminate the need for people who can make clear plans and maps. The people in the field build the bridges based on their past experiences, not the sloppy, poorly sketched plans the software spits out, guided by the inexperienced hands of the so-young-looking new graduates.

I just want to be able to find my son, hold his hand, wash his face, and assure him that Dad is doing everything he can to make things right for him. The doctors have given up, but I haven't.

Spring is here. When Jon was injured I dug out my I Ching stalks and threw them and read the hexagram for some cosmic word on the outcome of his injuries. Silly and new-age, but since the doctors couldn't answer my questions I figured the shade of Confucius might help. The stalks said that "the young prince will awaken in the spring." I found that interesting and looked to see if there were other hexagrams which could be construed to match our situation. I didn't really find any, so that one seems very interesting. For the last 3 springs I have awaited our young prince to awaken. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I misunderstood the situation....maybe I am the young prince and in the spring I will awaken to the fact that the doctors will not be doing very much for Jon in the future.

Each spring I awaken to find my feet still firmly planted in the floor of the little car riding the rails high above the circus. I hit the top of the curve, raise my arms to heaven and scream as we plummet down into the dark valley. My scream echoes around the tents and down the midway, but none of the clowns or bearded women look up. The lights never stop blinking, the smell of stale popcorn never stops, the midway never closes and the ride never stops.

This morning the geese were flying overhead on their way to some distant marsh. I heard the sounds of cheery voices exclaiming, perhaps, "I'm home, I'm home!" I could hear the sounds of their wings swishing thru the still crisp air above my house. My son may be spirit-walking, joined at the soul with soaring birds winging their way back to Canada. I can't be sure of that, but I can't be sure that he is in his bed in Lake Katrine, staring at the ceiling, making bubbles in his cheeks and listening to the never-ending hiss of the vent. I'd rather sit and think about him feeling the soft spring air under his wings.

The young prince may awaken in the spring, but the old king would very much like to go back to sleep. The sounds of the midway drown out the songs of the geese.

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