I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes. Greater than survival, greater than love, greater even than the beauty it brings about. For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty. And without these, life is endless, hopeless, doomed and damned.
Adult. You have become adult.
It's okay,' he tells me. 'If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.' His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. 'But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting.'
For the first time since I realized that Teddy was gone, too, I feel something unclench. I feel myself breathe. I know that Gramps can't be that late-inning pinch hitter I'd hoped for. He won't unplug my breathing tube or overdoes me with morphine or anything like that. But this is the first time today that anyone has acknowledged what I have lost. I know that the social worker warned Gran and Gramps not to upset me, but Gramps's recognition, and the permission he just offered me--it feels like a gift.
Gramps doesn't leave me. He slumps back into the chair. It's quiet now. So quiet you can almost hear other people's dreams. So quiet that you can almost hear me tell Gramps, 'Thank you.
What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.
Sometimes life gets in your way.
it gets all up in your damn way.
But it doesn't get all up in your damn way
because it wants you to just give up and let it take control.
Life doesn't get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it all over and be carried along.
Life wants you to fight it
Learn how to make it your own.
it wants you to grab and axe and hack through the wood.
It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through concrete.
It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it.
Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together,
stir it up,
What was it like to love him? Asked Gratitude.
It was like being exhumed, I answered, and brought to life in a flash of brilliance.
What was it like to be loved in return? Asked Joy.
It was like being seen after a perpetual darkness, I replied. To be heard after a lifetime of silence.
What was it like to lose him? Asked Sorrow. There was a long pause before I responded:
It was like hearing every goodbye ever said to me—said all at once.
These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you." Valek's warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine.
"But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.”
“That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me.
“Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me.
Never rearrange your life in order to meet Mr. Darcy half way. If he couldn’t see your worth at the moment you met then he won’t two years later. May the halls of Pemberly be filled with his regrets and your life filled with thankfulness because of this revelation.