Some people read. Some run. Others work on projects. I write. It helps me to put all my scattered thoughts together and make order out of chaos. I write to inform and to educate so that I don’t have to repeat myself- especially when the subject is deep. I write to prepare myself, my family and friends for difficult upcoming events.
It’s easy to put things aside. If I don’t visit, or write, or call, I don’t have to face things that are uncomfortable for me. We just lost a member of our church who wrote to my favorite man several times after he lost his job. This man took time out of his schedule, and away from his ill wife, to pray about, write a lengthy letter to, and send a monetary gift to us. But what did I do for him when he was losing his wife? I prayed for him. I consoled him at church, and I did send thank you notes way back when. But what else? Why didn’t I become more involved? Why didn’t we visit?
Because it hit too close to home.
Maybe that is why people rarely ask. They don’t visit. They don’t call. If they do, they concentrate on themselves. They don’t seem interested in what is going on with the progression. We are lonely. We are scared. We need people to ask and to encourage us. We need human interaction. Finances are still tight. House projects still need to be done. We still need to prepare for winter. The needs haven’t gone away.
Yesterday was rough. I took my favorite man to his check-up. When I asked where she thought he was in the progression and how much time he had, I was not prepared for the response. “He will most likely be here for this set of holidays, but with the rate of decline, he may not be with us next season.” It took my breath away. I have spent the past 15 hours convincing myself that she just saw a bad day. Traveling was rough. Other than the fact that he knew we were flying, he remembers very little of the airport. Noise, stimulation, multiple directions being yelled… He froze. He couldn’t talk, walk, or follow directions. His leg dragged and he needed a wheelchair. He wore a headset and listened to music or watched a movie most of the trip. It was like traveling with a young child who didn’t talk. I handled the snacks, the bags, ID’s, tickets, money, movies, headset, phones, liquids or gels, and picked his foot up to clear the plane. TSA and stewards tried to help, but it is me that he needed and me that he was looking for. Yesterday was like entering the airport all over again- only it was the doctor’s office.
The good news is that once at our daughter’s new place, he acclimated quickly. She had familiar pictures out, he watched his favorite show with her cat, and she made him feel at home on her patio with plants and a comfy chair. We drank boatloads of coffee, investigated the town and her school, and we helped her to set up her new classroom. He had a really great visit, but he misses her, and leaving started the process all over again. 1600 miles is a long way away.
Yesterday was our grandson’s birthday. We have missed very few in ten years, and it contributed to the mood of the day. We miss them so much. He generally asks to go to Maine. This year, the family went to Legoland. Our son is home on leave from Bahrain for 13 days, and they wanted it to be just about the 4 of them. In December they will head to Japan for 3 years and most likely will not be able to afford the trip home for the holiday’s. I fear that this means that they will not see my husband again this side of Glory and that leaves a painful pit in my stomach.
Actually, I suspect that that my husband won’t see a whole lot of people again. He lives a life of solitude on the mountain. He sees very few people unless I take him out. He is most comfortable at home. It is where he is most clear. Coworkers , townspeople, friends, and most family stay away. He is very aware of who comes and calls and who does not, and it is painful. I get it, I am busy too. Which brings me back to our elderly church member… I should have tried harder and that’s on me.
So today, I will pull up my big girl panties. I will acknowledge what the doctor had to say, but rejoice in the fact that 80% of the time, he is not in the state she saw him in yesterday, I will put my favorite man in the car, and drive him to the coast for a walk and a coffee. Then we will come home and work on house projects together, while I try to savor each and every precious moment. I am determined not to dwell on what is to come, but to enjoy the moment.