I love rollercoasters. I love the frisson of anticipation on the long climb before the initial drop, held captive for those moments before the terror is unleashed. The dips and dives, flips and flops, having an idea of what is to come but not able to be ready for it. The lurching stomach and build up of tension, the laughter and tears of delight. The immediate urge to do it all again as soon as we come to a stop and I begin to breathe normally again.
This other rollercoaster, however, I am not so keen on. Perhaps the parallel is a stretch, but I'm not sure what else to compare it to. I'm strapped in for this ride, too. It's one that has moments of delight, when the status quo hasn't altered, when Mum is feeling well. There are so many twists and turns, highs and lows, screams of delight and terror, so many tears. On the whole, I'd prefer not to be on this ride, of course. I'd prefer to be on that parallel path I imagined, the one with good health. The ride that is death-defying. The one without cancer.
I'm the one who rides alongside the poor person who gets so sick, the one who suffers from the turns and dips. It's a long ride, and although there are times we get a break between the highs and lows, the ups and downs, we're not too sure how long this ride will actually be. We're locked in, side by side, so little room to move or get comfortable, never feeling fully secure. Because the ride keeps going, and we have no choice but to hold onto each other and hope for the best.
Today the ride took another twist, which always knocks us around a little. There's still track ahead of us, though, we can keep going. The prospect of joy is down the track a little, maybe even some peace and quiet. Hopefully those stretches of straight will be longer rather than shorter.
Neither of us chose this ride, but here we are, riding with family and friends in our carriage, connected to carriage after carriage of others. Thank goodness we can be on here with her, along for this terrifying ride.