To Be Well

Cradling two small bodies that are struggling but not suffering, I cried as I pictured the many parents weeping over children who will never be well or safe again.
•••
I lost sleep; lost more sleep; felt sick myself; felt inadequate in the disorder; slept when they slept, but badly; lost a sense of time; forgot my tiredness; found a slower pace; read the news; thought of those whose souls never rest; felt sicker; listened to my children laugh together; took better care of my children and myself.
•••
I decided to walk the distance instead of running it to talk with a troubled friend who, before I knew her, almost didn't live to be who I am now discovering.
•••
"Life is an endurance race anyway," she remarked nonchalantly. The water cooled my throat. My legs did not hurt. Why do I think I have to run to be good?
•••
I remembered walking across the alley, hand-in-hand with my son and carrying my baby as I spoke to a gentle woman with her life in a rolling cart. She spoke hurriedly so as not to bother me:
"Will there be food? Sometimes there are free meals. The weather is still a little too warm, hotter than Shelbyville in the country. I used to ride horses, you know. Have a good evening."
All I could think about was getting into the meeting, to which we were already late.
My boy excitedly called to her retreating back, "Me like horses! Me like black horses! Her...her like horses. She my friend."
We had gone to the wrong location. I had gotten it wrong. Or had I? Maybe these things have nothing to do with my inadequacies.
•••
Songs and stories became more spontaneous the longer I followed their lead. They clasped hands and gazed at each other with no object but to touch the moment. The words were not so important. What mattered were the cadence, the companionship, the common discovery.
•••
When you are well again, you realize just how good it is to be.