What can YOU say in six sentences?
It was some life-churning tragedy like death or divorce that caused me to forget my bank PIN number for two months. I can't remember the year of this slip or the exact tragedy but I remember staring at the keypads of multiple ATMs, my mind full of white noise as I tried various combinations of wrong numbers. I know now that my mind was partially paralyzed, busy sorting jobs by levels of importance, or maybe it was crushing, like a trash compactor, making smaller this painful thing I was unable to assimilate into life's "useful" clutter. Then one day I miraculously remembered my PIN, and today feels similar only it isn't a PIN number resurfacing but a sensation of release and relief as other mental pathways reopen; I'm no longer using the brain space and energy to engage in massive denial campaigns -- a vast city of hope crowded with skyscrapers of wishful thinking, billboards of excuses, and the deafening noise of getaway cars zigzagging to escape truth.
A compassionate woman demolished my imaginary world this morning, made it impossible to shut out the subtle messages of former teachers, other parents' stares, concerns even my own mind sometimes whispered about my 3 year-old son's behavior. It took a warm hand on my arm this morning, a teacher and mother of six sharing the tragedy of her youngest daughter's death, a things could be worse scenario to soften the wrecker ball regarding my son, "Well, it's just that something isn't quite right."