Monday, July 18, 2016

Detachable Heart

When I sleep at night, I like to tuck my arm under my head as I sleep on my side.
My hand is blissfully sandwiched between my now graying hair and my squishy, too old for my own good, pillow. 
But, this can cause problems for me. 
My wrist starts to hurt. 
I just can't get into a comfortable position with my hand and arm. 
Or, in the opposite manner, I don't want my hand and/or arm under my head. 
So it juts out in front of me. 
Hanging over the edge of the bed. 
The wood bed frame starts gnawing at my ever bony wrist and, well, it just isn't comfortable. 
So I try laying on my back. 
Arms at my sides. 
Too corpse like, I think. 
What I really want to do is this...
I want to remove my arms. 
I want detachable arms. 
A snap/twist/lock trifecta would be great. 
I'll wash my face before bed, scrub my teeth when I remember, grab the book from my bedside table to read, switch on my owl reading lamp, and hunker down into my covers and pillows in my regular nighttime routine. 
When I can feel my eyes getting heavy, I'll put the book back on my table.  
I'll take my eyeglasses off and tuck them in next to my book and take my arms off. 
A quick twist and pull and voilĂ , my right arm is off. 
Now, here's the problem. 
You can see the dilemma, right?
If I've already taken one arm off, how am I to take the other one off?
My eldest daughter, Zoe, informed me of this idea flaw when I was bestowing to her my fabulous plan of detachable arms. 
She's always been smarter than me. 
I guess this idea of detachable arms only works IF you live with others. 
Someone who can detach and reattach one of your arms for you. 
And please, try not to drink anything before bed, because peeing in the middle of the night will be a no-go unless you want to wake someone to attach at least one of your arms. 
Zoe is more interested in detachable legs. 
As she, for some unknown reason, has trouble figuring out where to put her legs at night. 
But detachable legs are easier to deal with than detachable arms when going about it solo. 
But if there's a fire, you better twist and lock quickly!

Of course, this is all just fun and games. 
I am in no way making a mockery of people who have lost limbs. 
I find that people who are missing limbs to be some of the most courageous people on this planet. 
For instance, people who lost their limbs while watching the marathon in Boston. 
Doesn't that sound strange?
People lost their limbs, and lives, while watching a running race in Boston. 
How did that happen?
Why are things like this happening?
My heart hurts so much when I think about families, friends, children, and strangers being brutally attacked by terrorists while doing mundane things like watching a running race in Boston. 
Or watching fireworks in Nice, France. 
Families and friends laughing and oohing and aahing while gazing into the night sky as beautiful lights converge into patterns overhead are then viciously run over by a crazy person in a giant truck. 
My heart can't take much more of this. 
My heart hurts so badly for the families of those innocents who are killed and hurt by these radical terrorists. 
And my heart wonders...when will it happen again?
Will I know someone next time?
Will my own family be affected next time?
I fear, it's only a matter of time before I know a name on a list. 
Before I recognize a face in a news report. 
If only I could detach my heart, put it in a drawer, and not care about the lives lost. 

We enjoy the big city and we take our kids to Chicago and St Louis often. 
Where we are in big crowds. 
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 was really hard for me and my husband. 
We lived in Chicago at that time. 
Being in such a large city was scary, and we don't live there anymore. 
We feel safer and more protected in our little town to the south. 
But we travel. 
And terrorism has no boundaries. 
As we have seen in Boston, NYC, France, and Africa (to name just a few).
I have to force myself to not watch the news. 
I have to force myself away from the sights and sounds of the carnage and into the serenity of my farm. 
And I want to detach my heart from my body so it doesn't hurt for the mothers whose children are dead. 
Because everyone who has died from a ruthless terrorist attack was someone's child. 

We've tried to instill the idea of wanderlust in our children.   
The want to experience other cultures. 
To travel around North America. 
And to travel beyond these borders. 
But the world is getting scarier every day. 
And my undetachable heart hurts for their future in it...

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