it’s a beautiful thing

October 15, 2015 at 9:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

so after much hard work and effort angie accepted a great job in her field.  i am so happy for her and it is with great satisfaction that i share this time with her.  if she had not made the move across country i would not be able to share the joy of her success.  it is much the same as seeing your child find their path in life.  she is in a healthy relationship, has family around her to love and support her and now the career is back on track and even better (hopefully) than what she left behind.  i feel like the proud mother who has lived long enough to see that she is settled and has left some of her struggles behind.

as she is working  in atlanta, about an hour drive but with rush hour traffic more like 3 hours. much like san francisco or any other metropolitan city there are things going on so she can enjoy some down time after work then drive home.  the part that is an adjustment for us is the time we were able to spend together is now more limited.  this is the natural order of life and not a bad thing.  it just is.

a few years ago we were friends with a young woman who had recently broken up with her partner and the person she saw herself with for years to come.  at the time she was late 20’s early 30’s.  her friends all have careers and families so their ability to be available was not the same as mine.  she would call and ask if we could go to lunch, dinner, get our nails done or catch a movie. at the time i still got out a few days per week so this was enjoyable.  one day i was talking with her and told her that soon she would be on the mend and back to spending time with her friends, maybe even a new love.  it was important to me that she know before this happened that i was ok, i not only expected this but wanted it for her.  she is now married and has a busy career.  i have not seen her in probably 2 years.  my world is growing smaller and so this is as it needs to be.

i have always thought being content was what humans strive for in life.  as a child my environment was poor in material resources but rich in this feeling of quiet and satisfaction with life.  as i got older it was obvious that too many were unhappy with their life and wanted some undefinable “thing” that was always just out of their grasp.  oh they would be happy for a period of time but then you could feel the restlessness driving them on.  this is not to say we are not to set goals for ourselves i just think there are times those goals are our undoing.

this all leads to a conversation she and i had last night.  i made her cry and if you know one thing about me it is my love and desire that no one suffer is in conflict with the realization that life is suffering.  with suffering we are made present in this shell we call our body, with suffering we understand true joy when we experience it.  no i do not advocate suffering, i just know that it is.  we were talking about my fluid retention and the lack of alternatives since i am in more advanced kidney disease.

A: there has to be something they can do

me: no, sometimes there is this beautiful thing…. acceptance. there isn’t always going to be one more thing to do.

A: (she tears up and turns her head away) i know….

me: you know i always thought there is one more thing to try, one more way to look at a problem.  sometimes there is just no more to do.

what she may not know is it breaks my heart to see her suffer.  i know that she must go through this as we all do, if i could spare her or anyone i love the pain i know they will feel i certainly would.  that would deny them the beauty of acceptance though and i would not wish that for them either.  sometimes there is great beauty in suffering, there is the beauty of acceptance.

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Dr. Phil can’t help everyone

October 7, 2015 at 11:17 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

a couple of nights ago i was sitting here asking myself just how bad does it have to get before i get off this ride?  for a couple of weeks my ability to breathe has gotten worse.  that sounds so minor when i read it.  try to imagine that you can’t say more than one word without gasping for breath.  walking from one room to another is the same as running 10 miles, having a conversation becomes more effort than it is worth.  eating is difficult ,even if you have not eaten for over 24 hours, so much so that you gasp in between bites until you give in and just give up.  i say this not to complain, rather to explain how a person can reach the end of their hope for a better day tomorrow or even soon.

while i am thinking about this angie and i decide to watch a dr. phil that i had recorded one day.  i try to record a wide variety of shows that i can watch either on my own, with chris or with angie.  some times it is tough to find something that isn’t a program i enjoy just with either one of them.  not this one because he and i always watch this or not this one because angie and i enjoy watching it together.  they both love funny and they both love the british mysteries and comedies.

back to dr. phil, this show was about a young man who has stage 4 liver cancer.  three years ago he was given 6 mos. to live.  the show was about his parents being upset that his wife is emotionally abusive to him.  of course there is always so much more to the story.  the young man’s name is nick and his her name is star. the parents say that star hits their son, refuses to take him for treatment, has had multiple affairs and on and on.  she says they both get physical and he is much larger than her, he is skeletal and weak looking. she is at least two feet shorter than him.  most of the time was just accusations flying back and forth.  nick even complained that his parents get in the middle.  finally the good dr says they (parents and wife) need to just shut-up.  very professional:) and my thoughts exactly.

bottom line the wife is told she doesn’t have the right to waste one minute of this man’s time.  the parents get a dressing down as well.  why isn’t anyone asking how to make his life better phil asks.  his parents seem to think if he came home where he was living before he was diagnosed he could live longer.  they also seem to think star wants the life insurance.

one thing lost in all the noise, as far as i was concerned, is just how difficult life can be when one partner has a terminal illness. star brought this up, she went in to how she is the only one working (he is a veteran but got ill after discharge), they have two children to care for and it is a nine hour trip one way to go for his treatment which is once per month.  she asked if she had a right to some happiness in her life and while i was thinking of course she does, no one else seemed to hear her.

living with someone who has a chronic or terminal illness is not for the faint of heart.  one of the reasons i am so grateful to my sister for moving here is so my honey can have a life.  he doesn’t want to go anywhere without me due to his concern for my having an emergency while he is not here.  however, i try to remind him that he cannot just sit here next to me all the time.  he will go to play bridge on thursday afternoons but not to eat with his friends afterward unless i go too.  he plays poker once a month but there have been times he has not wanted to go because he was worried about me.  we have gotten past these times but i have to say things are much easier now that she is here.  of course i worried about her in the beginning.  it seemed like she was taking things to seriously.  now that she has been here for a few months she goes out every day with a friend or to yoga classes.  she still drives me to almost all appts.  monday she starts a new job and so her life will go back to more normal.

putting all this in to prospective helps. yes i am getting worse and there are times i wonder when is it ok to say enough is enough?  as much as i love my family and want to spend however long i can with them i also know that they would not want me to suffer past a certain point.  finding that point seems more difficult at times like these.  what i know for sure is i would not want to be in nick’s shoes.  i am grateful for the family and friends i have been blessed with for sure.  it would be better to be alone going through this than to be with the kind of people he is dealing with.  actually i don’t think you have to be terminally ill to know that you want to be treated with love and kindness by those in your life.

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