You promised me a lot, Life. Happiness, success, a touch of fame, even if I didn’t know exactly what form that would take, a family with the love of my life, living to 100. Sooooo, can we take just a little moment to discuss, Life? That’s if you can tear yourself away from lining up yet more surprises?
I mean business, Life
You can sense that I mean business, Life. Yes, you’ve stuck by me for 49 years, even though it was sometimes more through thin than thick. And I do love you, Life. You’ve given me a lot. But I can’t shake the feeling that you’ve strayed off course.
We had a deal
Look, we had a deal, a sort of framework agreement. Okay, we couldn’t set everything in stone, I understand that. Which is why we went for the bigger picture. Happiness, family, health. Ah – and money. There’s no way I could survive in a cardboard box. And, I must admit, you did well, Life. We do indeed have a beautiful family, a safe and peaceful home. We could even do with losing a few pounds. Thank you, Life, credit where it’s due. So, it’s only right we don’t spoil it, fair’s fair and all that.
But if you don’t mind me saying, Life, you might have missed a few things here and there. I’m not talking about the Wider World or Other People, Life. No this is about you and me.
You know full well where it went wrong, Life.
I don’t need to tell you where it went wrong, Life. You’re well aware that not a single day goes by when we’re not grieving the death of our daughter. You must know that there’s stuff happening all around us, to the people we love. And how about that moment you, let’s put it nicely, lost focus? Next thing we knew is that we were suddenly saddled with Parkinson’s. Thanks for that, Life. What were you thinking? Did you really believe that we could cope? Oh, you’re going to point out the small print now are you? That’s right! Go on then! You must understand that we didn’t have time for such nonsense as small print. You get plenty of small print with Parkinson’s as it is, what with a shrinking handwriting. But surely this isn’t what you meant by our contract’s small print?
Sorry, Life. What did you say? Am I done complaining yet? Nope, I’ve only just begun. Okay, okay, I’m all ears. Huh? No contract? What do you mean there is no contract? Do you mean to tell me that we’ve been basing things on thin air? Making it all up as we go along?
Life replies: that contract, super girl, that was all in your head. There is no contract. Imagine if I had to agree a contract with everyone, describing in detail what he or she will or won’t get out of me. Everyone would still be in the waiting room of life, negotiating over illness, happiness, money, refugee status – life in general. No, my girl, we’ve no time for that. And, I’m afraid no we don’t offer a ‘Standard Life’ package in order to keep things simple. As if you’d have gone for that anyway. The loss of your child, of your health….they were not in that imaginary contract of yours. Come, my girl, give me your hand, for I am your Life. I will be with you.
Yeah but, yeah but… I persist, drops rolling down my cheeks.
Yeah but, yeah but, how, how…how will I manage, Life?
Life looks at me
Life looks at me. Only you can answer that, my girl. Just do what you do best, just be good for someone else. Parkinson’s is bad news, it’s true. But you’ve got me, remember. We can go wherever you want. There’s no contract, no small print. Because we’ve got each other.
And me and Life, we set off.