"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."
-- Michael Caine
It's been 11 days since the fall.
I feel raw. As if I've been stretched one to many times like pulled taffy. There isn't a single thing I do, or a quiet place to go where I don't think of, or worse- feel, an important life is being drained away from us. There have been several terrible days and only a few which have glimmered with hope. We presently float in the murky place of wait-and-see...
The difficult process of watching an injured, or sick, loved one who neither leans towards recovery or towards death is simply awful. There is no resolution. Ahh, well, yes, there is resolution at some point- History always proves this to be true, but when painful moments stretch in to hours, and those hours stretch into days, and then into weeks...it certainly feels as if there is no end in sight.
Trying to be "Sunny"- trying to look at each step in this process as a gift of sorts is a great challenge, but not without reward. Every minute "Pawpaw" lives and is awake is another moment to cherish him in his presence. Yet our hope for recovery is tainted by our fear of losing him. We will lose him at some point. The time we have now as we wait to see how he responds to the treatment sort of gives us space to "get prepared"- but anyone who has ever lost a loved one will tell you this isn't really true. Death still takes one's breath away no matter how far ahead you see him coming.
Everyday I do find something to be thankful for. I continually see my mother in law gaining confidence in her role as a hands-on caregiver. Her resolve to ask questions and expect answers from Dr's shows a new form of courage I have never seen in her. She is well known for quickly surrendering any and all authority when a bigger (or more vibrant) person walks in the room- which has always bothered me. She is learning how to be a protector.
I'm learning how to take a step back and let other people in her network provide her with the extra support she needs. A friend of mine was pointing out my "Savior" complex (he and I both suffer with this) and how important it was for me not to jump in take over simply because I was more capable. It would be wrong of me to carry every baby bird around as it was learning to fly! Simply because I CAN do a thing doesn't mean I SHOULD.
It's always about finding balance with me, isn't it?
A friend of the family has invited my daughter and I to go to the Outer Banks with them. The condo is paid for and the occupants who were supposed to go had to back out. At this moment I am leaning towards taking the generous offer and leaving on Monday for the unspoiled island coastline near Virginia. I feel a little guilty for leaving (mom in law is staying with us, but is at the hospital every day)- but everyone says I should go. In the event Pawpaw takes a turn for
the worse I can drive home immediately.
I can be a little duck on the water- and paddle back if the need arises.