So…..haha…..funny story about being human. My Dad has had a radical decline for about two months now which basically started as the snowball rolling downhill. We thought we could outrun it. It turns out that once again, I can’t solve everything. Who knew? Oh! Everybody but me? FAKE NEWS! I am being set up! I can do EVERYTHING! I’m not even buying into this particular line of nonsense. My bologna has a first name…………….it’s S-H-A-N-N-O-N.
I’ve had a list of things I should address, things that need to be cooked, cleaned, filed, listed, acknowledged.
Exercise that should be walk-ed, yoga-ed, jog-ed, stretch-ed, pilates-ed…or even started. Suck it Jane Fonda, I’m sitting down and wallowing for a year!
People I should talk to, at, near, now…
Problems that should be put to bed. I’ve accomplished putting myself to bed. Last night at eight PM as a matter of fact. I’m very much in isolation mode right now. I have to interact with people? I’m busy. I can’t. My butt fell off in the subway and got run over by a train. I’m on sick leave. Nope. I cannot spare a moment of extra energy or emotion today or tomorrow or the day after that. I would love a pause button on the DVR of my life. But life doesn’t allow you to wallow. It doesn’t even give you a moment to come up for air sometimes. People die and sickness pervades day to day life and even in the midst of our greatest sorrow; life still goes on around us. We want to scream, “Stop and just give me a minute to get my bearings and catch up!” But life has other designs. You still hear birds singing and cars driving and children playing. Your office inbox still accumulates more than you can possibly do in a day. Your family still needs to be fed and the house cleaned. you still need to shower and brush your teeth. People laugh in spite of your anguish, not because they don’t care but because this…is….life. And it doesn’t stop because we are in grieving or in pain or in crisis. I would love to scream at the world, “Stop! Don’t you know that my father is dying slowly? Can’t you see the pain I’m in? I’m tired and angry and scared and how dare you giggle because your baby giggled. How dare the world not pause because I need a break!” We need people to continue to laugh and love and live because our pain isn’t their pain and one day our laughter may lift them out of the dark in a karmic return of life and energy. And we need people, who in the most random and absolute pockets of living drop upon us a moment of pure solidarity.
In the days since I’ve gone public with this, the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. It’s humbling to see people who give their love and support freely or those who relate or wish they could say the things I say. Well until now….
We did the round robin of phone calls last night. The hospital called my mother who in turn called me to inform me of the latest outburst. Oh sundowning…..you worthless turd. I really hate you. And I don’t hate things, but I hate you. Every time we think we’ve got a handle on this latest slide – a medication change, a therapy change, a clothing change, a lighting change; it inevitably blows up because we’re here now. “Well ma’am, he got violent so we had to give him an injection to calm him.” This was the latest call in an endless parade of “Guess what he did now?” calls.
This is our life. Dad is violent. I really want to cry and curse and scream but I’ll do what I do best.
I know I have dark humor. DUH!
Life is about living. Life is about loving and laughter and light and I do believe that with all of my heart. My father would have been the first to go down that darkly humorous path and yes, it would have been just as naughty my irreverent Young Frankenstein joke. I could’ve asked for a double. One for him/one for me. Bah dum bum tsssss. My father, in all of his warped, undefinable, intelligent and whacky glory, carries on through me and my daughter and my grandson; that line of humor goes unbroken. Humor is healing and so is sharing. I am fortunate enough to have a group of friends who walk this path with me. We share our sorrows and our joys and our journeys. There’s a reason we should listen to our elders. They have life experience, which is a euphemistic way of saying that fate kicked them senseless a time or two and still they have the benevolence to share with us the wisdom and clarity to cope with our generations very own humbling teeth kickings.
A friend from long ago and far away shared with me her year from hell. A year in which we really weren’t in contact. She’s endured illness, and health scares and the unimaginable pain of losing a friend. I lost a friend this year too, through a totally different set of circumstances. Loss is loss and it’s a reality check that is rarely welcomed. She’s across the country from me, and her tribe – who had their own sorrows which I know nothing about – rallied together with a party in which they shared their stories, stated their intentions and did their best to heal with whatever means necessary and as a party prize….got a stick of sage to smudge their homes to remove all negative juju.
I’m in. I’ll even grow the sage. For two months, I’ve felt like a rabbit caught in a snare with no escape and no reprieve and no end in sight. I’ve been so caught up in the story of me that it never dawned on me that I’m not the only one. What I learned from a random text today was this…even in the midst of our isolation, we are not alone. There is a tenuous thread that reaches through all of us of connection and hope.
Thank you A – I love you. You will never know how much I needed your wisdom today and I will do my best to honor it. I’ll even share my sed-a-give.