“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” – Aristotle
My daughter Ann is Bi-Polar. It is a very difficult condition to live with. A heavy cross to carry. And especially difficult to carry alone. No one to share the load. No one to laugh or cry with.
Around 2007 she was diagnosed. Before that, we had no idea. I didn’t even know what Bi-Polar was. I read. I learned. Or so I thought.
I had no idea how brave she is. How determined she was to deal with life in spite of her life long sentence to forever travel a road full of emotional pit falls.
She lived alone for about 20 years. During that time she worked, bought a house, rescued and cared for abandoned pets, got on with living, alone.
We had no idea of the hell she was dealing with. We knew it was difficult. We had no idea just how difficult. Now that we’ve witnessed the ups and downs first hand we understand.
In the short period we’ve lived with Ann, I’ve had to reevaluate my convictions of so much I thought was absolute and, somewhat set in my ways, I was able to make a few adjustments. It took some time but I was up to the task.
Oddly enough, it pleases me to realize that I’m not a complete dogmatic old fart.
So the other day Ann and I were sitting outside, just soaking up a nice, warm, spring day.
It seemed like the perfect time to share a few thoughts with her.
Ann, I want you to know something. This is not a one way trip we are on. You have given me a wonderful gift since we’ve been here. Something that has been missing in my life.
The gift of laughter.
You have a marvelous sense of humor. You have a gift. And you make me laugh till my body screams for mercy. I believe it to be one of the greatest gifts of all. Thank you for making the pain go away.
Why are you crying Ann?
Because when you die, I’ll be lost. No reason to go on.
That caused me to pause and collect my thoughts.
We don’t know what the future holds. It’s been my experience that somehow each life will always find a purpose. Look forward to the discovery. That is reason enough to live.
Then we both wept.
God help me. I pray I articulated the appropriate thought.
“Suicide always seems like a very unpleasant sneer at the rest of the human race” – Dead Low Tide by John D. Mcdonald