Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.

     For years when Taylor and I have gone to visit my sister in NYC,  we forego Taylor wearing his J.C. Penney pajamas and opt for the T-shirt and sweats that are always tucked in the guestroom chifferobe.  Through four spinal surgeries in ten years, Taylor has sported this Tee on each of our many trips to Soho. My sister and I have always noted  the slogan, but laughed it off.  "Whatever it takes for as long as it takes."  Yeah. Yeah.  We nod and shrug and just sort of breathe in the fact of Taylor being Taylor---special needs and all. 
     Taylor is 29  years old.  The whatever it takes part of this t-shirt saying---in real life, some days gets worn and threadbare and all crumpled up.   Some evenings the for as long as it takes part seems endless.  I don't want to cut up his food or brush his teeth or sit and watch Bambi  again  on another Friday night.  
But then comes morning.  Thank God.  New light. New hope. New ways to see old beliefs.   Come morning, the Tee shirt comes off----but not so much the forever sentiment.  
      Sometimes a line from one of Mary Oliver's poems finds its resounding way into my head:  “Tell me, what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"  
 And I pause.  And then panic.  I hear myself shouting, "But this is NOT enough!  Is this a precious life I am living?"  Let's face it, it is not a wild life at all.   Or is it? 
       Taylor's "imperfections" are so glaringly obvious (and oftentimes offensive) to the outside world.   So many of us are so constricted by our own compulsive need to be perfect that it becomes uncomfortable to see him without that needling reminder of our very own flaws/weaknesses/holes---or what we see as such.  It is just more comfortable to look away.  I am you.  I do this too. 
       We---most of us---have such a hard time loving the parts of ourselves that just don't measure up.   It is almost not-bearable to accept and then love those parts of ourselves that are IMperfect.   You know this is hard.  We give lots of lip service to, "Nobody's perfect," and yet we all spend our days moving Heaven and Earth trying to be.   Trying to be....needing to be...perfect.   You know it's true.   Be honest. 
       And so.....and so.....the wild and precious part of our lives---of my life-- must be to love this life----sinkholed, , scabby kneed, broken hearted,  non-liposuction-ed,  Bambi- watching life.  
Taylor's Tee shirt is a reminder for me---about my own life. 
Any life lived deeply and real is what we all crave.  Isn't that so? 

 I will continue to see  my journey with Taylor as deep and wild ----however long it takes me.
 Whatever it takes... my  lesson is to learn to  embrace and kiss the precious-ness of this life ---the life that has my name on it.