Friday, April 08, 2005

My Father's Daughter

This week was hard. In the last two days, I have been at work 26 hours. I have had four coffees, two teas, two bottles of water, and two sandwiches. It's hard to be healthy when things get this busy. If I can just make it through tomorrow, I can start all over, and it will be alright.

When I was young, my dog Buck (for Buck Rogers, of course) fell through our barn floor and hung himself. Back then, this was not so uncommon since barns were old and worn, and, to keep predators away, they were often home to several dogs. Buck hung there, howling in pain from his broken neck. You grow up fast in the streets, but, sometimes, faster in the country. My father had to shoot Buck since the nearest vet was at least an hour away. There was little a vet could have done for Buck at this point anyway. I'll never forget my father's face. What he did was the right thing to do, yet, underneath the pain and sorrow, I could detect guilt. At the time I was too young to understand the complexity of what he had done--there was no way for me to comprehend why he felt guilty when he had done what was right.

I believe in what I do. It is right for so many reasons. Yet, no matter how right something is, life is never black and white. There is no way to stop the guilt when things are really a shade of gray. It is always there, lurking.

It's funny how much we can look like our parents. If you could see my face now, you would know that I was my father's daughter. You would never forget what you saw.

Some of you will understand. Some of you know what it is like. You are like me. You finish your job, go home, and act normal, as if you had spent all day making phone calls to clients. You ask your spouse about their day and tell them you don't want to talk about yours. You know that they'd rather not hear about it anyway. You worry that they will start to look at you differently. It's hard to talk about the normal things.

If you want to learn more, you can. It's OK if you are one of them. The only way to make people understand is to talk about things, to educate each other. I just want you to know that we have feelings, because sometimes you try to convince the world that we don't. It's easier to make your case when you turn people into things. I am not a thing.

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