The quiet Why couldn’t it have been me?” isn’t the guilt-ridden Matthew-torturing-himself lament it once was, but a sincere question to the cosmos.
It’s taken a very long time, but I’ve moved beyond the guilt and anger to finally accept that this was Jacquelynn’s agenda all along, and mine as well; to serve and learn and be forged into whatever I need to be going forward.
No, this time it was a legitimate question, muttered into her shoulder at 1:30 in the morning, as she calms from the tantrum that always accompanies getting cleaned and changed. Imagine that feeling; you’re an accomplished professional, highly respected in your field, and strange people are pawing at you, laying you down on a bed and rolling you around, doing to you what mommies do to their infants, and you just can’t understand why. You can’t stop them and ask what the hell they’re doing, caged uncomprehending as you are in a body and mind that no longer obey your commands or answer your requests. So you cry and scream and lash out because that’s all you can do.
So yes, I ask why it couldn’t have been me because I’d give anything in my world for this not to have been her. Not to have to hear her weep helplessly as the STNAs dodge her kicks and flailing, claws-bared arms, swearing as the one person I’ve ever known who has never intended harm to any other being connects with a vicious scratch.
I couldn’t wish this on anyone else, so “Why couldn’t it have been me?”