Why is it that when sleep taunts me, exhausted, and cold- perhaps from wading through the cold waters that are my only chance left to clear thinking and following logic engage in a tug of war over the pieces of yesterday still being something between mere memory and quite nearly the spare bits of a puzzle found at the bottom of a puzzle? Is it my body trying to keep me awake for some yet misunderstood cause? Or is it my mind refusing to turn off or to relinquish control to the unconscious ruling the path tht may randomly come up? Or is it the fear of what may be missing should I let my mind slip into the comfort and solace that sleep ought to be? Is it the fear, like the character in Fifty first dates (or whatever the title is) where the lady who was in a violent mva finds her memory completely taken of what her miind labels as recent memory? SHe is so strongly loved by a man who refuses to be pushed aside or lost in yesterday when wanting today, a tomorrow so hemakes videos explaining the parts of her life that she’s lived and of those she’s come to love. It is a heart rendering emotional journey and now at this point of my own journey, it hits home close enough to be frightening and yet giving me some type of hope if someone is present as time goes on. But part of this nightly navigation of only partial sleep isn’t my fearing to sleep standing to lose more of my life, more of myself , or whether I will slip from an occasional strange and unexplainable behavior into an onslought from which I will not be able to climb out of. My great fear is the possibility of putting my life to rest before my body is ready and to possibly cause another human being in danger. The ads on the television make it seem so easy. It’s all so clear cut on there and the answer seems so easily attainable and effective. I am finding this end of things to be neither. Of course nothing so bizarre as that “slep walking” event where I painted with pepto bismol on various objects , moved things about to unreasonable and unlikely places. It was the total having been moving without my knowing and what to do in regards to the pet care. their meds or my own meds. All very scary stuff. And I travel between not wanting another person to know or to be “caught” in another episode and wanting, needing it to be known and understood by the doctors so we slow this part of my brain’s decline. We never know the fullness of what tomorrow will bring. ANd now I struggle to paint hope into the still moments of a day, of a night. I must choose from shades of promise mfor a meaningful ecistence yet to be added to in a positive way. It IS more than a wish, a hope. It is what makes tomorrow worth w aking up for, wouldn’t you think so?
Having been asked about my fears, I thought that I really didn’t recognize fear right now. Something in life’s ordeals had drawn them out and away. Of course that didn’t last long when I scratched beneath the surface. Fears of living left undone, fears of being trapped in a shell and to be merely a burden who adds nothing to another’s life. There is and has been the fear of being resented by my spouse especially. Our relationship began later in life and seemed it barely lifted off before it came crashing down around us. Talk about readjustments!
I mourned. I still mourn the parts of my life not to be revisited. I did not let them go with ease. They were parts of who I m, who I came to see myself as. As I gave up my nursing license and driver’s license in the same year, my “nest” bore the silence of an empty nest. The various types of volunteering over the years that I thought I would have more time to contribute my services to had left me aching. I now had the time, plenty of time…but nothing else that would return me to those stations in life. I mourned the making of music that meant the world to me throughout the years in terms of working through emotion. I missed being a mom but rejoiced in the fine adults who stand before me. I miss being the intimate partner my husband deserved. I deserved. I miss looking and being more than this person that I am now. I yearn for my marriage and at the same time feel the man I miss though here will never be here in terms of who and how we were before. ANd in the times when I see myself slipping, that I feel the right thing to do is to bring it to an end and release him into the life he has yet to vibrantly live. Of course he says that isn’t what he wants. WHo could admit that sort of thing? It sounds so awful on the surface. But in truth it is nature. It is too much that I have to give up so much. It is infuriating to see it happen to him. I know what he does to get himself through it all and it leaves no joy in my heart to know this id so costly to us both.
Now I don’t have the luxury of self pity and woe is me. No time for that, no patience for it. I was a nurse. I saw worse. I know worse is yet to be as well. But the thing is that it is simply life. That’s part of the nautral cycle. It’s part of the perfect imperfection of it all. And there is no place for the why me’s. WHy not me? Plenty have not had the privilege of a life this long, of functioning to the level I did. ANd in some odd way the dialogue with my God goes something on the line of my hoping this somehow will exclude my family, my kids especially from this kind of thing in their lives. I know better than to expect that. I’ve watched the best of bargaining go on in the darkness falling around people and I know there are no deals honored.
I know better than to believe that people are given such things as means to punish. Yet I am somewhat amused to catch myself thinking that I am how it is. seeing karma take what’s hers for the sins I spent upon my time living. I know. I get it. But it IS a natural part of the process of acceptance. ANd for those who feel it is a one way journey, I sadly can say that is not how it works. Like any growth, it is uneven, not without its pain, and on a sliding scale. It’s just how that works. AO back and forth at times. Mostly I work for a level of peaceful acceptance. I work to not give in an inch easily to this condition, these diseases. But I know that I have to do what I think best in terms of my life, while I still can make choices that those around me will honor. Oh I am not knocking on death’s door at this point, not on this day (I believe.) But I do know the incapacity likely to precede all of that. I have no desire to see my husband or kids drained of every financial resource as the dance plays out. To be honest most of the time I try to lose myself in the mundane of taking pills and doing some therapy and caring for the dogs and getting in some light naps. Of reading, of trying to reach out in some way through words. In driving my husband crazy with ideas, with dreams that are just not to be. Looking out of the window at the mountain that I loved, there is a stark emptiness in the late autumn scene with its blanket of snow. The hemlocks look less hardy than last year and a number of oaks have fallen in storms. I allow myself to think of walking again up the side of it. I remember the view from the top. To see over the peaceful river and out onto the miles of woods, broken up by the tiny town below. was a gift. It’s a gift I allow myself to believe if only for this moment that I will again hike up on that mountain just before sunset bathes the land in its glow. Later I will speak of a land more level and of a farm filled with animals who find sanctuary there, with horses for those who need their gentle strong ways in the dance of give and take. I’ve known that it is not the length or even the masses a life reaches. I just pray somehow when the time comes that I will have made enough of a difference to have earned being given the life I was blessed to have. This has been a very open raw piece for me. I hope I haven’t made you readers uncomfortable. or depressed. Instead I hope you take the chance today to do those acts of kindnesses afforded you today. Pay it forward if only a smile or holding a door.As for me I continue to search, to reach out, to dream…and above it all to live.