Non Omnis Moriar:
There are no happy endings in reality. No blue yonder nor dusty orange horizon to gallop off into with a dramatic pause, moments before you disappear from sight into the never-never of myth and speculation. No inner peace producing, harvest-moon moments when the fog clears with icily refreshing dew settling on every surface and human warmth by your side to comfort and reassure you.
I can attest that this, world, earth, planet; whatever name you wish… it doesn't change the prevailing truth that blows through every thinking being that walks it.
The cold whispering wind that breaches every bulwark, slips through every shield, dispels every denial.
The simple statement that slashes through even the staunchest soul; "There are no perfect moments."
It's that realization that chills me now. Not the cold of noonday December, not in itself bad, but irritating in its own way. Both in that a cold Christmas without frost or snow seems unfair, and that with my breath clouding in front of me in the still air, I'm finally beginning to think clearly.
I always think better when I'm cold. I don't shiver or sneeze; though I feel my skin prick, the tingling sensation is good. It makes me feel like a person.
The warmth always makes me feel muddled and irritable, the world too slow, rested yet fatigued.
Perhaps it was the stuffiness of dad's office in the lodge that made me misread the papers. Perhaps I'd really seen the ownership documents for a pet… but Dad's allergies.
No, no denials now, Franklin Igni and his wife Catherine did not have a daughter.
They had no children at all; they were a perfectly ordinary childless couple, like any other rugged research baker and beautiful quantum physicist you might care to meet.
I used to be 'assistant' baker to dad, but as I grew older, I realized I was getting in the way.
Now I've become just a little more old and quite a bit wiser, I realized that what he'd enjoyed was not what I accomplished; just that we were together. Joking and laughing or just smiling and letting the silence fill up with the simple pleasure of a job well done; just a job done in my case.
I had wanted to apologize and ask if I could go back to helping when I saw that he missed having me near while he worked, but I just couldn't, didn't, know how to do it; worse what if I'd got it wrong and that he'd hated having me under-foot. The Plan hatched when I'd found the final draft for his master-piece, the recipe he'd created for his graduation project; I knew he'd won honors for it. It had fallen down the back of a shelf; waiting for me to come, take it and decide to whip it up as a surprise for Christmas day when the rest of our family would arrive at the summer lodge.
I'd get up before he did, bake it before starting on the normal Christmas fare and then present it to the entire extended family at lunch; then the topic would come up and hopefully there would be no chance of him denying me…
I stopped, realizing how selfish my motives had been. Perhaps it wasn't the heat, but karma then, that cause me to climb the stairs when I found my copy of the recipe was incomplete. Perhaps It was me, my selfishness that had caused me to shuffle through his office cabinets silently searching for the directions I had somehow lost.
My toes are numb. I should go in… but I'm not brave enough.
Am I a hypocrite? Avoiding the truth? Yes.
I've been adopted for thirteen short years and twelve long minutes. In anger I have denied that the people who have raised and cared for me are my parents; yet I persist in avoiding the truth and calling them family. I deny them openly, yet at the same time I'm not strong enough to say aloud, that this is not my home. This is not my place. This is not my house.
Because it is; because the biology doesn't matter, because I have been adopted for my entire life and this changes nothing! Parents and your place in the world are two things which are always where you find them and I choose to find them here, not in a couple whose lives for some brief period intersected with mine, but those to loving individuals who have supported and succored me every waking moment.
Nothing is perfect; but if we really try. Not just believe but persist and persevere… well, almost is as good as. I feel warm, hot almost and it gives me confidence, the confidence to stand and walk back to the house.
The bakery door is open. I walk inside, Frankl- Father is there. Mother too. They're worried.
I come towards them taking small unsteady steps. It is warm here too. I take a stride towards mother, who looks both worried and relieved. My feet skid and skitter. I slip. She catches me. Sits me down while I try to tell her that I know and it's all-right, that I'm alright.
But I'm not. Dad's got the oven open and the door closed. I don't know why they're looking for tubs and blankets and hot water. Nothing is perfect… but this is my home, this is my place, with my family; an exception. I'm tired. Not enough sleep. Was too excited….I don't know why they're worried. This is my place. I belong to it. It belongs to me. Nothing bad can happen here.
I'm going to be fine. Mother, Father; can you hear me? Don't worry.
I'll be fine. Just you wait and see. It's Christmas and I got the gift of a family.
Nothing can hurt me now. I'm just tired. Let me rest a while.
Nothing is perfect… But I'm going to be okay, I have to be.