Hello blog followers, are you still with me? No excuses, life is just crazy and I’ve pretty much put life on pause. Intentional pause. Pause for good reason.
Many times bloggers spill their personal lives on social media. And then there are the rest of us who retract from social media when life becomes difficult. I used to think of myself as an open book, I had nothing to hide, and then life caught me doing a tightrope walk between privacy, fear and self-protection. I’ve mastered the art of funambulism.
You learn a lot about yourself when you’re on the highwire. At times almost an out-of-body experience looking down at your own life. Laughable, painful, and surreal.
There’s no preparation that can ever ready you for cancer. In 2014 my cousin Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer. Last year I lost my dear auntie to lung cancer. 2016 arrived and cancer didn’t waste any time finding another victim. My mom. Tongue cancer. Mom is 83 years old and suffers from dementia, how do you explain to someone already confused that on top of their normal confusion, they’re going to be experiencing extreme pain?
As I look down from my view on the highwire I see myself sitting and listening to mom breathe as she naps, my heart aching as I feel her pain, wishing I could make it better. If only I could see her bright blue eyes again full of happiness when she sees me walk in the door.
And then the announcement that she’s a candidate for hospice, how can this be?
I find myself hiding, if I don’t talk about it maybe it will go away. I mask these feelings by justifying that I need privacy. So if you’re my friend and you’re learning this for the first time I’m sorry, I honestly couldn’t talk about it. I’m really good at supporting you but I learned I’m not a master at asking for support of my own needs.
And then there’s the overwhelming fear. Fear to fall asleep because I might not hear the phone ring to hear that mom’s condition has changed and I need to get there asap. Fear that she awakes at night and feels alone. Fear that she can’t remember to dial *0 if she does needs help.
Many days feel surreal. Is this really my life? Am I really living between two tension points on a highwire balancing between sunrise and sunset?
Sunrise brings such optimism as I balance myself, leaning toward the light. I see darkness in the distance of sunset, my grief and another goodbye likely to come sooner than later.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy good memories of our adventures along the way.
And amidst her confusion, our funny conversations, like when she told me how much she’s going to miss me when I die. I’ll miss you too mom.
“Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on”.
~ Joni Mitchell