Ken, my son who lived with me, killed himself the day after Christmas. I’m still in shock and disbelief. I’ll write more later..
Some days, I can’t do anything without feeling dizzy and light-headed. If I try to cook or empty the dishwasher, even in my wheelchair, I feel as if I’ll pass out. So I have to be content to do nothing.
Every time I have a day like this, I become discouraged, believe I’ll never feel ‘normal’ again, whatever normal is. To me, it’s being able to walk through my house without the aid of a walker or a wheelchair (though I’d welcome a walker today); cook and bake the way I used to; drive; walk my dog, play with her outside, visit my friends; go shopping; go to church; do the laundry and other chores when they need to be done, not having to wait for a ‘good’ day. Or even just to get up and walk across the room to look out the window or turn on a light.
I think of the things I used to do and realize how much personal freedom I’ve lost. When I was 80, three months after Forrest died, I sold my house, had an auction and moved to Connecticut all in one month. Now, five years later, I’m in a wheelchair. Actually, a year after Forrest’s death, I started using a walker. Just months later, the wheelchair.
I’ve seen doctors, had tests; No one can make a diagnosis. It’s obvious that I have high blood pressure but my heart beats steadily, though I do have a condition called paroxysmal atrial tachycardia which sends me to the ER when I have an episode (not often).
I knew one day I’d get old and have to slow down, but I never dreamed I’d not be able to walk. It was a blow when I could no longer dance. I loved dancing. Such a freeing feeling. Now I’d be deliriously happy if I could just walk and feel normal.
Today I had to cancel a dental appointment. My teeth really need to be cleaned and it takes so long to get an appointment. Making appointments is tricky. Fitting Ken’s time in with office time.
Then there are the better days when I can wheel lickety-split through the rooms of the house, stand, walk with the walker, fix a meal without feeling I’m going to faint, perform light chores… I’m a completely different self. And I don’t know why. I keep looking for answers so I can make all days better. I appreciate them so much when they occur.
At my age, you realize that you’re not as in control of your life as you once thought. There’s not much in life you can depend on 100 %.
I try to accept what is and go on with my life. Find things I can be grateful for–the beauty of nature, my sweet companion dog, JennyPenny, what family and friends I have left, my books, computer, telephone, my mind, a house I like, funds which I hope will last me the rest of my life if the economy will allow it, the list goes on. I’d like to add faith to that list but there are questions, doubts to overcome. That’s for another day.
This is not an uplifting blog. I started it to find answers, to become acquainted with myself. And to present that self to the world.
I sit in bed, computer on my lap, TV on. We had a severe storm earlier with high winds. The lights blinked for a few seconds and I looked for the flashlight, but didn’t need it after all.
This is the day Audrey was supposed to arrive. Her bed I ordered from Amazon arrived a week ago. I took it out of the box and it’s been waiting. How many times did I imagine her in it? And the pretty collar?
The bed is still empty. And it will never hold Audrey girl. Linda called Wednesday night with the news that Audrey will not be coming. She’s a mild mannered little girl who scares easily. And the plane ride would just be too much. The entire experience of leaving the home she knows, sitting in a strange place, being taken in and out several times, ending with people she doesn’t know would be quite a blow. I was worried about it myself Dreaded it for her, in fact. And was relieved for her when I learned she wasn’t coming.
But sad for me. It’s amazing how I bonded with her having never seen her face to face. It’s much like I felt when I carried my children. You imagine and plan and wait. I’m doing a kind of grieving.
Linda said she would send me some one else instead. She also broke her foot stumbling over a cat and can’t take another to the airport right away, so there will be another wait.
It’s all right. I don’t have any feelings for a new one right now. I need to say goodbye to Audrey in my mind, though I know she’ll always be in my heart.
Soon sweet Audrey will be on her way from Daisy Hill Poodles to my home. She’ll be 5 Monday. Younger than the ones I’ve lost. She’s gorgeous! And from what the breeder says–a very sweet girl. Hopefully, she’ll arrive next Friday. And then life will be good again. I still miss the little ones I’ve lost, and always will, but I also miss having a canine companion. And I’m ready now to welcome one into my home and into my heart. I pray I have what it takes to keep her well and happy for a long time. She’ll be my reason for getting up in the morning. I’m grateful to Linda for entrusting me with another of her sweet babies.
I’ve shrunk with age; parts of me have fallen, and wrinkled and changed in other ways; but my mind, heart and soul are ageless.
I’m unable to go very far without a walker or wheelchair.
It’s no longer safe for me to drive.
I have to break up tasks with periods of rest.
As my friends and family pass away, I’m becoming more and more isolated.
I have medical problems that will never be cured.
I am no longer desirable.
I’m lonely, sorrowful, regretful for past thoughts and deeds.
But I own my own home.
I feed and dress myself every day.
I prepare healthy, tasty meals.
I have a library of books I’m reading through.
Nature is always there.
I can still learn
and embrace the beauty of the world.
I have friends I visit with on the phone.
I can stop expecting a better me,
a richer life,
the sun always shining.
I can be in each moment
accept my life as it is,
forgive myself and others.
I have much to be grateful for.
The amazing thing is–
Joy! I’m here!
Sat on the deck again today taking pleasure in the sights and sounds & enjoying the rhythms of spring. So good to be outside, feeling connected to the earth. Betsy found a shady spot near my wheelchair and Muffy relaxed in the sunshine. All worries set aside. The joy of belonging! I must do this every possible day. What inertia, what fear holds me back? Such a simple, natural thing to do but extraordinary for me. I feel the keys turning and the door to my self-made prison slowly opening.