“Maybe Daddy is sick, Mommy, can we call him and see if he’s okay?”
“Don’t be stupid, you big baby, Dad probably got drunk and that’s why he’s not coming to pick us up.”
Sure, baby girl, you can call your daddy later, why don’t you go watch your program and let me talk to your brother.”
“But, mom, she’s just being a baby, you know dad is not going to come for us, she needs to grow up!”
“Son, one day you are going to want and need someone to think the best of you even, if it’s not true. That’s not naive optimism; that’s your little sister’s gift of always seeing the good in people, especially the ones she loves. God made her that way, let her be.”
Aren’t you being paranoid?
No, I’m just hypersensitive because everyone is treating me that way.
Today is the day and I am glad for it.
I will walk in and be met with surprise, warm embraces and happy greetings. I will give brief updates to most as I make my way around the room to give all a personal greeting.
Then I will get to her and she will say in a Texan drawl, “We missed you, girl, glad to see you, glad to have you back.” And I will reply, “it’s good to be back and it’s good to be seen.”
Then we will settle down and return to our places. And I will sit in my chair. It is an average, older chair, green upholstery with wooden arms and fairly comfortable. But everyone knows that this is my chair. This is where I sit when I am here and where I have sat for the past four years.
My chair, where I have a place and where I belong.
‘Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.
If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind’s the standard of the man.
—poem used by Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man ) to end his letters, adapted from “False Greatness” by Isaac Watts