Hello Neverland blog: "The plan is never as fun or as beautiful as embracing what messes it up."
Sometimes this is true. The plan I had for my life at age 16 was very different from the way things actually went, and from this vantage point I can look back and say, "Thank heavens I didn't follow the original plan." It took me a long time, though, to embrace what had messed up that plan; I wasted maybe a dozen years struggling to get back on track before I started to ask myself, "Why are you doing this? What's wrong with the path you're following now?"
At one point Captain Midnight and I planned to have a few children. When that didn't seem to be in the cards, we considered adoption. After a while, we gave up on the idea of being parents at all -- and then Miss V arrived. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll have reason to say it again: she helped us experience what parenthood is, and we couldn't love her any more if she were our own daughter.
With that said, not everything that messes up your life plans is beautiful or fun. Sometimes it's heartrending, as when you discover that your parents are mortal. I found this out relatively early, at age 12. After my dad's death, I harbored a not-so-secret fear for years that my mother would die too and leave me, the oldest, in charge of keeping my five siblings together. But Mom, in spite of being diagnosed with diabetes, remained relatively healthy all the years we were growing up. That was a blessing.
Then the diabetic complications started coming at her -- first a few at a time, then thick and fast. I suppose things could have been much worse; if all these problems had hit her a generation ago, she'd be blind by now and have at least one foot amputated -- that is, if a heart attack hadn't killed her first. As it is, she still has her sight and the use of her feet, and an emergency surgery staved off the impending heart attack. But there's a limit to what modern medicine can do. Recently, Mom discovered she's gone to stage 5 renal failure, which means she needs to start dialysis. And that means my mom's years on earth are sharply numbered.
I'm not sure what I believed about the way Mom's life would go, but this wasn't it. Just at the moment, I can't see much that's fun or beautiful about embracing this mess -- mostly I see the sad and painful side of it. But I want to try to embrace it anyway, and work to find beauty where I can.