As a child I thought that adults were invincible. I thought that they didn’t get scared, that they didn’t feel pain. I guess that’s because I was so protected. I was lucky to be in a family where whatever pain my parents felt they hid pretty well for many years.
As I got older I understood that of course that wasn’t the case, but I still looked at my parents as a stable foundation. As cliché as it sounds, I thought bad things don’t happen to my parents because they’re my parents. They’ll live long happy lives and be with my through my own. The realization that that is not the case is a difficult one to have. Mostly because it usually comes as a direct result of tragedy.
While my mother was in cancer treatment I realized that she was going to die. Maybe not today or tomorrow but some day. As I watched her get weaker and weaker, I realized that adults can’t do everything. They most definitely feel pain. The first time you see that, it’s very disconcerting. That’s when you know that you’re not a child anymore. When you are the one that your parents see as invincible and not the other way around. When you are the one hiding your pain from them so as not to scare them.
This year I lost two people who I truly had believed were invincible. They were so strong and so happy all the time, I had never seen either of them shed a tear, scream or shout. They were healthy all their lives, and never let anything get them down. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. They were incredible people. People like that can’t die. And yet they do. The Invincible Adult is a myth. I see that now. Because I’ve watched all the strongest adults around me crumple and now I’m an adult and I’m most certainly not invincible.