Like most children, I went through a significant “Why” stage in my life. Curiosity got the best of me (still does), and I annoyed the pieces out of my family with incessant “why” rebuttals to even the most seemingly simple things.
My family was always good about it, as they still are to this day. We have several little ones that keep us on our toes, and it seems the Why Movement is multi-generational. My first niece, who is now 17 years-old (unbelievable…), went through it for years. We would do just about anything, I’d ask her to help me clean up the mess we made, and notoriously she’d ask, “Why?” For some reason, I always had patience with her. I did my best to explain the reason for everything in a way she could understand, and it always seemed to be enough for her. Until the next topic came up.
I have a grade school teacher, who is now very much a member of our family and lifelong mentor, who encouraged all of us to continually ask “Why”. Asking “why, why, why” made us better writers. Leaving questions unanswered was a faux pas, and so we would read, re-read, and edit our work based on if there were more unresolved “whys.” It was a beautiful lesson, and I owe my ability to even type a blog in a somewhat coherent manner all to him.
I can’t help but wake up every morning envious of three year-olds with answers to their repetitive “whys,” or fifth-graders who have the real capability of elaborating on a poem about their favorite food.
Mornings are the hardest. You wake up, and there is this half of a second that you forget you aren’t living an actual nightmare. Then it all comes flooding back in a way that reminds you how devastatingly alone you are.
“Why did I have to lose my happy, healthy husband?”
“Why did The Powers That Be decide that I was strong enough to get through this?”
“Why did Luke get the luxury of his eternal happy place, and I’m stuck here in misery?”
“Why was everything so perfect, and why would that get ripped away from me?”
“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“Why do I have to be the one to keep going and pick up the pieces of a life I have NO idea how to live anymore?”
I could go on and on, but at some point you probably would have to put down whatever device you are reading this on and turn on a happy cartoon to try and cleanse your mind of this sort of extravagant pity party. I won’t do that to you. Don’t worry, I’ve watched enough happy cartoons in my lifetime to last everyone through the years.
“Why can’t happy cartoons take away this pain when they’ve worked every time before?”
Okay, I’m done.
I long for the day in my widowhood where I’m content with the outstanding, unanswered questions.
Until then, I’ll sit here with yet another cup of black coffee, and I’ll try to convey the lonely place it is to live where you’ll never understand why.