Thursday, September 9, 2010

permission: 8 Easy Lessons for Caretakers: a list. with conversation.


"And get yourself into the doctor.  Because," Mom's voice just audible over the hiss of wet tires, "you know what they say about caretakers."
"Yeah?"  Which means  . . . no?  As in, There can't be more still I should be worrying about? 
Caretakers, it appears, as an added benefit, are too known for not always surviving, not long surviving, their caretakees. 
"Just look at your dad after taking care of Grandpa."
Or Fritz' dad Bill, for that matter, who has got four months.  Per the doctor.  Which means give or take.  As in, the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.  I've just come from the first meeting with hospice nurse and social worker where Bill's repeated concern is not for himself, for the coming pain, for the shortness finally of these last months after years of remission, but, "What about Momma?" 

I'm sitting on the bench outside the Hot Spot waiting for my turn in the chair and a drastic haircut - today's quickest way to alleviate what's weighing on my shoulders.

Up until now we've just been helping him to help her. 

Herein begins the shifting of the heavy lifting.


Therefore:

1.  permission to Take Care of Myself.  No more staying up late to putter around at things that will get done faster by daylight.  No more ignoring symptoms hoping they'll go away.  No more sacrificing family dinner for a snatched something because we're too tired after fixing up, cleaning up, cheering up, chatting up.  No more. 

2. permission to Ask for Help. With essential attendant . . .

3. permission to Not Feel Guilty about paying someone to do what I could do if I had more time / were more organized / never slept.  And while we're at it, here's a pass for forgetting those reusable grocery bags, driving when I could have biked, buying store-bought bread . . .

4. permission to Laugh at Ridiculous advice/ comments/ expectations. Or just . . .

5. permision to Laugh.

6. permission to Lie Down in the Grass and Look at Trees.

7. permission to Dote, to Dither, to Take Pictures of Flowers.

8. permission to Live even in the midst of all this.




10 comments:

Cait said...

I'll make dinner every evening when I get home. Even thanksgiving. I love you so much. You are so brave.

Emma J said...

Bravery-schmavery. I'm just a wimp. And you are a sweetheart.

Lisa B. said...

Oh, I endorse these permissions. Fully endorse. They have the htms seal of approval, in fact, for what that's worth. And thank you for that beautiful flower--everyone needs to see a flower, no matter what else is going on.

Fresca said...

Tough stuff.

These lines came to mind, for what they're worth:

"then
laugh, [...]
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis."

--e. e. cummings

Or maybe death is a parenthesis? (It's a love poem, after all, so he's being fantastical.)
Laugh anyway.

Emma J said...

Reading your comments - these little songs that tell me I'm not alone in the woods - I am laughing and feeling grateful and then I see the word verif is chante - another reason to laugh and be grateful.

Mrs. Organic said...

Especially the permission for that last one. It's so important that we, being so closely linked with death, do not let it take hold just yet.

And flowers and trees and nature in general are beautifully grounding.

suzanne said...

I love this list. I think...I think I will borrow from your list.
If you want to, if it would be pleasant, write to me.
I will write back.

Melody said...

Oh, my. ~sigh~

Beautiful. Beautiful.

God bless us, everyone.

Melody said...

Take care, caregiver.

Emma J said...

Thanks, Melody, Mrs. O.

And Suzanne, I will most definitely write.

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