Saturday, February 04, 2006

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.


Mad said...

That's a shame, I was rooting for Anne. I'm not sure how your licensing system works over there but over here with a little basic training she could ride a little 125 scooter with up to 15bhp. Something like that would maybe give her the two wheel fix she needs?

irondad said...

Yeah, I was rooting for her, too. I also have to balance the fact that some folks should not be on a bike for whatever reason. Despite their desire. Ann has her heart set on something in the 600 cc range. Our law is similar. There are small ones she could ride with no endorsement. I hope she can find it in her heart to compromise and still be proud.

Mad said...

She should get one of the mad little italian 125 scooters, they have a suprising turn of speed (I know, I started out on one). Or the Peugot scooter that's just been released that has a supercharger (I kid you not). That'll replace her 600cc kicks I'm sure ;)

irondad said...

Speaking of "kicks", I am not sure she would be safe on anything. She could barely lift her leg up to get over the bike seat. She also had trouble holding the small bike up with her right leg while her left shifted to first. It might work for getting on something small but I a worried what she would do if something went wrong. If someone put her on and pointed her it would be ok. If she has to hold the thing up it might be a problem. I really loved meeting her but her body just can't do this.

Mad said...

Eek! Ok she shouldn't be on anything. My head's just filled with all the "what ifs"