The Test Will Be Ours

The heart can see things invisible to the eye. — T.A.Barron

My sister is developmentally disabled. Her life has been difficult, even though she is very much loved by her family. My mom passed away several years ago, still worried about my sister’s future. My mother’s adult life revolved around what she could do to make my sister’s life worthwhile and happy. Society was never very cooperative on these fronts, and so for every chance for something better, the rug was always pulled out for something worse. So in my sister’s life of ebb and flow, sadly, it all seemed to flow low.

I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in a circus sideshow, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination- indeed, everything and anything except me. — Ralph Ellison

In my sister’s vulnerability, this virus becomes a huge threat. I was notified today that her facility will no longer allow visitors. I must now trust the staff to take care of her. I can speak with her, but she is now confused, and I cannot rely on what she tells me. It is difficult to hand over control of those you love to people you do not know. When my son was young, we lived on a dead end road snarled with traffic all day long. This road, as the crow flies, was only minutes from the McGuire Nuclear Plant. I used to worry about disasters, and how it would become impossible to pick my son up from activities just a short drive down the interstate. The mere thought of this scenario would render me feeling helpless. This virus is now making me feel the same. My sister is now on her own in a very odd way. The closest I can get to her is outside a window. I do applaud this decision to keep her safe, and yet in this crisis, I now can only be a spectator from the other side of the glass in her life.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin

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If life steers you into a dead end road, and you are trying to find your way, skip the GPS, take the road with no traffic. Founder studiO, early morning poet.

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Patty Brown

If life steers you into a dead end road, and you are trying to find your way, skip the GPS, take the road with no traffic. Founder studiO, early morning poet.