Monday, April 10, 2006

'Bedikas chametz' in My Memories of Ben

Reflections often lead to self-doubt ... self-doubt may lead one to guilt; all the 'might have beens' plague me at times, refusing simply to leave me alone.

'I did my job and I did it well' ... I often tell myself though there are things I would have tried to do differently.

I still struggle with my role in Ben's life even after five years since his passing, and I suspect I will always remain very close to these ruminations ... I guess it to be my own compromise with having to 'move on', as it were, with my life but never forgetting the life that was once Ben's ... my own 'basar v' dam', my own flesh and blood.

There are some inherent problems however ...

As Ben's dad, I typically blurred the line between my parental obligation to care for my son and his evolving self-reliance.

'Ben, I made many mistakes ... though my intent was good, I failed you often!'

On the other hand, this may describe a fairly common parental predicament.

Parenting a healthy child is by its very nature fraught with difficulties. Chronic illness exacerbates the inherent difficulty. My principle worriment during all those years was his diabetes, and whether that terrifying and often subtle but always persistent reality would ever allow him to live life well as a self-sustaining adult.

'Ben, who'd be there for you in the middle of the night if and when you became hypoglycemic? Could you have lived on your own even with well-regulated blood sugars?'

Ben often struggled with and rebelled against good diabetes management and suffered from a long history of hypoglycemic seizures especially in the early morning hours.

Ben, you often spoke of Daniel as a roommate and though fabulous friend he was ... could I realistically count on him or anyone else to be there in my place?

Very understandably, Ben often spoke of his desire to have his own apartment. Nothing scared me more! Just maybe Ben was scared too ...

How I still wish to this day that it could have been so easy!

All I ever wanted for Ben was normalcy, only that life's bitter side leave him alone, that it let him be!

It never did.

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