Monday, June 11, 2012

"Why Don't They Call??"

So, a lot is happening in my life right now. 
My excuse for not blogging? Let’s put it this way: you know how parents complain that their kids never call unless they need money? Well that’s because most kids (using the term for anyone under 28) are too busy trying to overcome some mistake they’ve made and calling Mom or Dad to chat is rough unless you have some good news to offer. Blogging is like that for me.
Too frequently when there’s a lot of negative things happening in our lives, we tend to internalize those feelings of negativity because we only want the world to know of our successes, not our failures. Use Facebook as an example. Most people’s pages are chock-full of all the great, exciting and positive things they are doing, because after all, your friends don’t want to read about your ugly breakup, your teen daughter’s unplanned pregnancy, the three days you spent eating ice cream in a darkened room because you just found out your lover was cheating on you. Anyway… I digress. 

Several weeks ago my elderly mother fell at home and broke her hip. After surgery and some limited recovery, she has been placed in Hospice care at a nursing home. She just turned 81 but is not expected to live much longer. Over the past two years, she has suffered several small strokes, leaving her unable to speak coherently and with limited use of her right hand. I believe her to be perfectly lucid and completely aware but her inability to communicate has made her disagreeable and demanding. I know she is afraid and angry because she now has no control of her life. She is now completely dependent on others and is trapped in a body that no longer operates.
My step-dad visits her daily. They have been married for 43 years. I visit her as often as I can during the week and every Sunday. I always bring her a strawberry-banana smoothie which she eats lustily in silence. Every time I see her, she is a little tinier and a little more frail-looking and a little more… gone. I say a prayer each visit that she will be allowed to escape the prison of her useless body. It's a painful situation for us all.

Work continues to frustrate me but it is what it is and I need to try not to let it matter so much. It’s only a job and I have to accept the things I can’t change. I’ve discovered that boundaries and rules and circumstances which restrict me only make me struggle harder to circumvent the controls others put in place around me. In other words, the more you deny me or stand in my way, the harder I will try to find a way around you. I don't find much happiness when there are too many rules to restrict me.

I’ve decided to get my M1 license so that I can ride a motorcycle. I used to ride before there were restrictions and I’ve always enjoyed it but never taken the necessary steps to get my M1. This time next month, I will be able to rent bikes and begin the process of deciding what I want and how much riding I want to do. I’m very excited for the first time since leaving the hospital with my diagnosis. It really feels great to look forward to something again and I hope I meet lots of nice people at the Motorcycle Safety Program I signed up for. I’m hoping it starts a whole new phase of my life. Who knows, maybe I will finally start doing other things too. At least I’ll be trying something new.

More to come as my life progresses.

Love Betsy

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