Many beliefs have fallen away from me, like leaves in an autumn storm. It is hard to trust in maternal instinct when you have bandaged a child whose mother set her in a bath of scalding water. Difficult to believe in love when your husband is choking you because he doesn’t like how you washed his shirts. Of what use is God when you witness friend after beautiful friend die a horrible death from AIDS.
This remains: a belief in the day after, the continuing, the clean up. I am a nurse. I am not a doctor. I don’t try and cheat death. I offer comfort, a smile, a skilled hand. For many days I will open my eyes in the morning and I will have a choice. To find joy or not. To help or not. To continue or not.
And when I come across an old tree I will ask my companions to join hands and try and encircle its trunk. We will commune with endurance. This I believe.
“We Will Commune with Endurance,” Copyright © 2005 by Alexis Sackor. Part of the This I Believe Essay Collection found at www.thisibelieve.org, Copyright © 2005-2009, This I Believe, Inc. Reprinted with permission.