Funny that right after I wrote this post on Chesterton’s “Man at the Crossroads“, Kevin watched Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away that has a crossroads scene (I won’t give details just in case you haven’t seen the movie, but if you did see it you probably remember).
The last time Kevin watched Cast Away was one of the times he was at the hospital in San Francisco with Aidan for a prolonged period. I guess he felt a little cast away because he joked to a friend and fellow “frequent flyer” that he was going to start talking to Wilson pretty soon. She thought it was hilarious and mentioned it several times, probably because she had felt the same way herself. Oh yes, and he had started growing his beard while he was there, so that was what inspired the conversation in the first place, I think. Funny how those things come back to you.
I guess sometimes people sometimes feel a little cast away when they bring their child home from a prolonged lifechanging hospitalization. You get used to a certain type of life there at the hospital. Stressful, scary, and closely supported. Then you come home. It’s still stressful and scary but in a more prolonged and diluted dosage. And you usually don’t quite have the level of support. You look around and life has gone on without you, everything has changed, and your situation has changed, permanently. It’s like your life has gone on a completely different track. You can still see the other track but you’re on a different one.
We didn’t feel QUITE so much like that as some people do. We were too busy and our family is large enough to be almost a microcosm of society in itself. We just picked up the loose ends as much as possible and kept going. But I was just thinking of it again the other day, realizing that I am having a lonely winter. We haven’t been able to see much of other people at all. There was a mom at our church who I was just starting to hang out with a little before Aidan was born– we were both pregnant at the same time. She had a couple of other friends and we had a sort of network going. Clare and Sean had started Irish dancing and we were entering that network.
But then Aidan was born and we left for several months. When we got back Aidan was on oxygen and with a G-Tube and Kevin and I were going to town almost every day for his medical and therapy things. The rest of the time I was trying to homeschool the older five kids — Liam was going into high school. And this mom’s older kid was just starting school and she was getting involved in the school life. So though we visited a couple more times after that and still are on good terms, a real friendship situation never quite happened. A pity. And the Irish dance teacher had gone on maternity leave and I wasn’t able to pick up those ties either.
That’s what happens when you start free-associating! I think this is the first year I haven’t been too busy to think of being lonely. And I suppose that trying to stay off the internet more leaves a real life gap — a good thing for this Lenten season, I suppose.