Iris Murdoch wrote:
“It is better to do the wrong thing for the right reasons than the right thing for the wrong reasons.”
Of late all I want to do when I sit at my desk to write is tell my story. A story that I have related so many times before and yet every time I try to go back down memory lane I remember something new.
Sometimes I believe people think I’m crazy. Sometimes even when a friend calls and asks “What’s new?” I’m suddenly flooded with emotions. They have no idea what I have been through. And I certainly don’t want to tell them over the phone about my despair so all I do is swallow my tears and collect myself as best as I can and continue to have as normal a conversation as possible.
It’s hard. My tears do not go away that easily. Sometimes something very insignificant, as insignificant as the way a man walks down the street or the way someone lights his cigarette, reminds me of him and that triggers my emotions. Maybe that’s the reason I want to be alone most of the time, just to cry.
I can’t describe the life I have, the life my kids and I have, mixed with the sadness we feel. His death, his absence is so real and so final. I can see us left standing in that hospital room, spared in order to live.
Until then, until that moment in that hospital room I believed in my star. I believed that what would happen to me could not be anything but good. I had this childish belief that life was nothing but good, and that people themselves were not evil. Until my teens, at least, before the civil war started in Lebanon.
Since then we, my late husband and I, have sought a safer place to live in, to raise a family. We left our home, we left our extended family, our friends and all, in order to provide a safe and normal and better environment for ourselves and our kids. We did what we believed was right at the time.
It was the peace and security of the years spent outside away from war that allowed me to worry so little about anything else. For us the danger had always come from the outside. We were so caught up in moving and bringing the kids to this part of the globe that we didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late. How could something have gone this wrong? It all happened so quickly and so unexpectedly. How come I didn’t see the signs? How did I miss it somehow? It is so true that nothing is gained without something being lost, but is our gain in any way worth our loss?
“Have you ever observed that the most decisive actions of our life- I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future- are, the more often than not, unconsidered? … Like a train into which one jumps without thinking, and without asking oneself where it is going. And more often than not, one does not even realize that the train is carrying one off, till it is too late to get down.” André Gide