From the book “embracing now: pain, joy, healing, living.”
i despise being interrupted.
when speaking my portion of a conversation;
an interruption, though well-intended,
becomes a thief breaking in
and robbing my mind.
when interrupted, i feel lost at sea.
my location isn’t easy to find.
where was that? where am i?
how do i locate myself again,
and my word again,
and my thoughts again?
an interruption becomes
the conclusion. my verbal adventure
stops suddenly. a wall appears.
another step feels impossible.
i wait and wait and wait
for an opening, for a memory, for a word.
finally, i locate another word
as a substitute.
or i ask for help. either way,
i do not like this. but
i’m learning this.
i am learning
this life—this life
of failure, of frustrations,
of dependence, of forgetting.
this life of interruptions.
this life with baggage.
this life at sea.
i’m adjusting to this life
of always knowing a seizure is possible.
this life with epilepsy.
it feels like a caution light
blinking and blinking.
do i stop or slow? do i turn?
i choose, usually, to
not frown when facing those facts.
i smile. people with epilepsy have boundaries,
but don’t all people?
yes, we need sleep
and the care of others
and sunglasses, but
all people do. we need the caution light’s reminder
of these words: be careful.
all people do.
we are unique, yet
not controlled by our conditions.
well, let’s get back to the interruptions.
words, often difficult to locate in this brain,
frequently take time to be stated.
i try hard.
they refuse to reveal themselves.
a noun. a name of a person i know.
a verb. an action i’ve known well and long.
hidden, distant, afar: words.
i merge memories
and mingle experiences. i try.
i fail to find words.
but the process is
worse when interrupted.
let me try and fail,
then ask for a name.
don’t invade my endeavor to recall.
though, if i
sat in your seat
and listened to my weak
attempt to remember, if i
stared at a frustrated face
like my own and
craved to offer assistance,
i would interrupt. i’d bid a solution
if the situation was opposite.
i get it. but i’m helped best
when those close to me realize
they’ll never fully get it.
they just choose to endure
the wait—hearing my conversation stop,
seeing my facial expressions of frustration,
desiring to rescue me from the war of forgetfulness,
hurting with me—while hidden words merge
their appearance slowly
if at all.
give me a little time even if i request otherwise.
give me a little time even when my search engine malfunctions.
give me a little time until i can invest no more effort in the adventure
give me time underwater. and, please,
give me your acceptance even when
my attempts to remember
or stay calm or seem normal
Beautiful, Pastor Chris! Love you. Reading your words helps me see more than I originally did. Helps me step into yours and others’ shoes.