by Bella Rum
This was a very busy week – lots of appointments, errands and business that needed attending. There was a time when every minute was taken up with trying to get it all done. I was either caring for Dad or thinking about Dad or doing something to facilitate Dad’s care, and always wondering if I was doing it the best I could. Last year, every waking minute was filled with Dad, and I suffered from low-level anxiety every waking moment and high level anxiety when something flared up, and something was always flaring up. It’s my way and that will never change.
Sometimes I think it would have been less stressful if I’d sent all the caregivers packing and moved back in with Dad. But then H’s life would have been more uprooted than it already was. I spent a lot of time trying to please everyone, and never feeling that anyone was happy with me. It was a tough way to live, and it took a great toll on me and my husband.
And if that wasn’t enough, I always thought that I should have handled it all better. I was sure there were a million daughters out there who could have done it better. Riddled with doubt, I was furious at myself for being such a jellyfish. After all, I’m surrounded by strong women, women I’ve elected to have in my life, women friends with a lot of personal power. Where was I on that scale? Huh?
Here we are, a little over a year since Dad died, and I thought about a question for him yesterday. Something about a long dead relative, my grandfather’s sister, who was a gifted musician but had a drinking problem. If Dad was here I could just ask him. He would tell me stories and use colorful language. I could write it down.
This week took us by surprise. You would have thought we had no warning, but there it all was on the calendar. Every single day had at least one or two or fifty things that had to be done if survival was to happen. I had a doctor’s appointment, H had to have some more dental surgery (it will never end if the boy wants to keep his teeth), both cars needed inspecting and one needed an oil change, we still had some mop-up from the credit card fraud (I know you’re sick of hearing about that), and I still have to get my hair cut today and lab work and it’s only Thursday. We had just shy of a million things that needed doing this week or the world would never again be as we’d always known it.
I had to laugh. Our life has become so… I don’t know… I’m looking for a word. I don’t know where the time goes. It flies by, but I do know that we can pace ourselves now. Life is reasonable, even easy. It’s become so reasonable that we actually thought this was a “crazy” week. Ha! How quickly humans forget, how easily we become spoiled. There was a time when all of this stuff would have had to be done, but everything to do with Dad’s care would have had to be done, too. And you know what would have happened. Our stuff would have fallen through the cracks. It’s just the way it was. Scheduling our life was a nightmare. Now we take a nap if we want! And one of us always wants. His name begins with an H.
We’ve almost survived our “crazy” week – a lot of activity for someone who has become lazy and pretty darned accustomed to doing as she pleases.