Two things in particular sustain me: natural beauty and friends.
For a long time now, I’ve been in a place where viewing the lives of friends through the window of Facebook is incredibly painful. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just enjoy the happy happenings of others instead of being overcome by my own piercing grief, frustration, and regret?
I checked my page today and saw a lot of posts from folks, many of whom I have not seen since I got sick. They’re experiencing all kinds of major life events. Meanwhile I’m facing major limitations.
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I’m no stranger to major loss. As a teenager, I lost my beloved family home and other ties to childhood in the wake of huge financial losses for my parents.
Then came the death of my father after a five-year struggle with lymphoma. Later came the excruciatingly slow passing of my mother-in-law to Alzheimer’s, and my own mother’s declining memory.
Then, the nearly unbearable abyss of divorce. A few years later, I’d only just started to approach feeling whole when a tiny tick transmitted the lyme that knocked me to my knees—and even further down.
The holidays, a touchstone to the past, intensify the grief. I feel it in every cell of my being.
Recently I said to my therapist, who is helping me get through the many stresses of chronic lyme, “A year ago, I thought I had a handle on the losses lyme has sent my way. And I sure thought I had processed all that grief from childhood, and all that terrible pain from the breakup of my family. Why am I so overwhelmed all over again?”
And she said, “Because grief is like a rubber-band ball.” Continue reading →
Mom at 96, September 2012.
Credit: Catherine Fox
I’m very sad today. My mother, 96, one of the most extraordinary, life-filled people I have every known, has entered hospice care in my sister’s home, where she has been lovingly cared for over the past several years.
Naturally, I wanted to travel there to see my mother and to support my sister. I know I don’t have the stamina to drive almost five hours, and when I am sickest my lack of concentration makes me a danger on the road so I don’t get behind the wheel.
I decided to try the train. All I have to do is sit there, right? Amazing how the voice of lyme denial tries to get me to do things I shouldn’t.
My doctor told me that since we are adding meds this month for the next level of treatment, I should go now if I must, before the herxing increases. Note the “if”; she understands that I want to go—that this is my mother—but I could hear the reservations in her voice.
Today is the day I’d planned to go. I made the decision last week when I felt better. I came to my senses two days ago. Continue reading →