A Gift

“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” – Aristotle


My daughter Ann is Bi-Polar. It is a very difficult condition to live with. A heavy cross to carry. And especially difficult to carry alone. No one to share the load. No one to laugh or cry with.

Around 2007 she was diagnosed. Before that, we had no idea. I didn’t even know what Bi-Polar was. I read. I learned. Or so I thought.

I had no idea how brave she is. How determined she was to deal with life in spite of her life long sentence to forever travel a road full of emotional pit falls.

She lived alone for about 20 years. During that time she worked, bought a house, rescued and cared for abandoned pets, got on with living, alone.

We had no idea of the hell she was dealing with. We knew it was difficult. We had no idea just how difficult. Now that we’ve witnessed the ups and downs first hand we understand.

In the short period we’ve lived with Ann, I’ve had to reevaluate my convictions of so much I thought was absolute and, somewhat set in my ways, I was able to make a few adjustments. It took some time but I was up to the task.

Oddly enough, it pleases me to realize that I’m not a complete dogmatic old fart.

So the other day Ann and I were sitting outside, just soaking up a nice, warm, spring day.

It seemed like the perfect time to share a few thoughts with her.

Ann, I want you to know something. This is not a one way trip we are on. You have given me a wonderful gift since we’ve been here.  Something that has been missing in my life.

The gift of laughter.

You have a marvelous sense of humor. You have a gift. And you make me laugh till my body screams for mercy. I believe it to be one of the greatest gifts of all. Thank you for making the pain go away.

Why are you crying Ann?

Because when you die, I’ll be lost. No reason to go on.

That caused me to pause and collect my thoughts.

We don’t know what the future holds. It’s been my experience that somehow each life will always find a purpose. Look forward to the discovery. That is reason enough to live.

Then we both wept.

God help me. I pray I articulated the appropriate thought.


“Suicide always seems like a very unpleasant sneer at the rest of the human race” – Dead Low Tide by John D. Mcdonald

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18 Responses to A Gift

  1. Anonymous says:

    this is awesome!!!!! Wish my father could have had the same talk with my sister and I. FATHERS have the talk with your children before it is to late.


  2. harry bellerby says:

    Always tell those you love how you feel when they are alive. Too many times we have a heart full of unspoken feelings when they are gone. That is like growing flowers where no one can see them.


  3. Mike Tallman says:

    God bless you, my friend! You have a knack for calling attention to the human condition in a way that really grabs my attention. You have (again) reminded me that we all have our crosses to bear and that I should probably spend less time feeling sorry for myself. My mother had depression, and although she fought her way through it, she always said that of her cancer (which eventually killed her), her stroke, and her depression, the depression was by far the worst. I get the feeling that you are truly a blessing to your daughter in her battle against the burden of her bi-polarism. May God give you strength and guidance!


  4. Mark Krusen says:

    I’m always asked when I go see my med manager at the county-run nut farm if I have suicidal thoughts. I always tell him “not once”. Homicidal? Now that’s another story.


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