It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on here. My world has been a little cock-eyed of late. Crooked. Askew. Like the tilt-o-whirl rides at the traveling carnivals that were so enticing when I was young (and now look like a hellish collection of deathtraps in my middle age).
First the vet told me my beloved dog of 14 years is likely dying. The xray showed fluid building up around his lungs. She said it’s likely cancer or valley fever, but that the tests to diagnose either were not only prohibitively expensive, given his age they would likely kill him. So I brought him home. I researched everything I could try. Nothing worked. I’m just trying to keep him happy and comfortable…and keep praying that somehow the vet was wrong. He has good days and bad days. I cry a lot.
Then my mom fell and broke her leg. We were told the surgery was dangerous, but she’d be confined to bed if she didn’t have it. Anyone who knows my mom knows how miserable she’d be with that. The surgery was successful, but then there were the clots. Another round of what-ifs and please prays. She’s now back at the assisted living center on increased blood thinners and able to continue her physical therapy. But we still worry and pray. I worry about my dad who doesn’t sleep or eat well when she’s not home. I worry about my sister who has a stressful job and has to deal with this herself since our other sister and I are so many miles away. So we call a lot and feel helpless. We hope and pray that it all works out well. And I cry some more.
There’s so much weight to life. So much heaviness. The burden of responsibility that makes you long for the carelessness of youth (when you wanted nothing but to grow up fast so you could be free…ignoring everything your parents and teachers and everyone over the age of 20 told you about the truth of growing up).
Then it occurred to me. There is one thing that is lighter. One burden of weight that I have lost that makes this time so much more bearable. I’m not alone. After 14 years of living alone, I’m now renting a room from a friend. While there have been a lot of adjustments for us both after such long periods of aloneness…we both realize that things are so much easier when you aren’t alone. You don’t worry about choking on a hot dog and no one finding you for days…or weeks. If your back goes out or you have a cold, there’s someone to help you (and someone for you to help when they need you back). There’s someone to listen to your bad day report. There’s someone to share Thai food with. There’s someone to encourage you to eat a salad instead of something full of cheese and salt and fat.
And I have some exceptional friends. The ones who, when they don’t know what to say, just stand there with their arm around you and it somehow makes everything better. The ones who start crying before you do, and call to check on you to see how you are doing. The long distance family that you reconnected with on facebook who make you remember that there are others out there who care about the same people you do, and even cared about them before you were around.
Being alone was a mantle around my shoulders for so many years I had given up on being otherwise. But for now it’s gone, and I’m glad. I’m so glad. And thankful. So to any of you reading this, who took a few minutes out of your day to care about my thoughts and think about my cares, thank you. You make the world a little less lonely too.