A dream ends.
Today I shattered Ann's dream.
That is not really true. I am merely the instrument. I feel anguish and want to blame myself. And so I say "I shattered her dream". Perhaps I could have done more. Then again, I might have become a crutch. When the crutch is removed, that which is supported falls. Better to stand on one's own.
I am a teacher and a mirror. By my words I point the way. I coach, I encourage. I cajole the individual to stretch their comfort level. Doing so will give them success. A new level that can only be reached by letting go of the old. Security is left. New confidence is gained. And so it builds. I do not own any of this. The ownership is theirs. I serve as the measuring stick. It is like looking in the mirror. One can ask what is good. What needs attention? The reflection from me is their reality.
Today Ann saw her reality reflected in me. Her heart is strong. Her body is worn. Muscle and tendon will not support what the spirit and mind desire. I spend time with her. We constantly balance the needs of the one against the needs of the many. Today I broke that rule. Much of my time was spent with the one. Eleven others got minimal attention. It was not to be. The danger to her person became great. I had no choice. Protection of my charges must rule supreme.
I will not reveal details. One can seem lowered in the telling. Ann deserves to keep her dignity.
Ann saw the reality in my eyes. I saw tears in hers. Will she still feel unfulfilled and try this some other way? Or will the wisdom of aging allow to be content? Will she find satisfaction in the fact that she tried? Will she find solace in riding with her beloved son? I would hope to know. I will probably never know. I can only take today. It is the only day within my reach. I wiped her tears. I sent her away with the best comfort available to one of my means. I am grieved but will end my day satisfied that I have done my duty. I believe she will not ride on her own. I believe I have helped to prolong her life. She has much still to give.
I care deeply about people. It is why I teach. 35 weekends last year. Teaching. Trying to save lives. Giving new motorcyclists a solid foundation. Hoping the skills serve them well. Hoping to give happiness. Hoping to avoid pain. Yes, I want the best for my students. Some times the best is in conflict with their dreams.
It is sad to see one grow old and be denied dreams that depend on the body. A story churns through my head of an old man. He is Oriental. Every day he beats his son with a cane. Each day the boy submits. He fears to dishonor his father. The father wants to make his son a man. Enduring the pain will strengthen the son. This is the father's will. Each day the beating. There comes a day. The son weeps. The father is astounded. The son has always been stoic. And now there are tears. The father asks the son why he weeps. The son tells the father he weeps not from the pain. He weeps because he has steadily felt the father's blows grow weaker.
It is so sad to me. I see many older person's dream left lying in a parking lot. I must be ever the professional. I must ever be the mirror reflecting reality. Skilled or lacking. It is never easy. There will always be the anguish.
So ends Ann's dream. Yet she has tried. She will always be one of us. God speed, Ann.