No Return Ticket

Man, it's been a struggle around here the past few weeks.  I have found myself on more than one occasion thinking..."I can't wait to get back to the way things use to be."

I'm not exactly sure what time frame I was thinking I wanted to go back to, just anywhere but here, in this moment, I suppose.  The more I think about this, the more I realize, you can't go back.  You can never go back.  Life is lived moving forward.  Even when it may feel you are sliding back, you aren't. It's just that moving forward can often come with more struggle and resistance than usual.

I will never be the person I was 5 years ago, 1 year ago, even one month ago!  Every day, the experiences we have, change us into something else;  a continual evolution.  It has been a disappointing revelation to me because I just want to go back to when life was simple; easy- easier compared to this.  I want to go back to the time when I felt like I had a handle on things and when the laughter came naturally and joy was just there, I didn't have to go hunting for it.

Everything is different now, scarce.  Health, money, peace, friends, time, confidence, courage, joy, hope, security- it's all scarce now and we live in days filled with isolation.  I can see each one of my kids struggling in much the same way.  They are tired.  We 'do' things; wander the stores, just to make us feel like we can still break into the world beyond chronic illness.  We mingle with strangers, even if at an arm's length and that seems to be enough to trick us into thinking we might still belong in that world...instead of all alone in ours. On more than one occasion, they have asked why I can't fix things anymore like I use to?  They get frustrated with me.  Things are beyond fixing and none of us can bear to state the obvious, so we go on hoping for a fix that may never come.

Two weeks ago, when Sam was in the hospital, I would sit on the couch beside the large window that looked out on the terrace and I watched patient after patient lap the perimeter of the large terrace, alone.  Slowly, they would push their IV a pace or two ahead, mechanically, their feet would follow.  It's a different world in a cancer hospital.  There we all stay in our loneliness, together.  And we may say that we 'know' what the other person feels like, because we paced off the terrace too, but we don't.  We can never know what they are experiencing anymore than anyone can say that they know what we are going through.  Maybe it's not that physically, we are alone, but certainly in our heart and mind, it feels that way.

I know it won't always feel like this.  These feelings seem to ebb and flow.  Still, what becomes of us when we can't go back to what we were, and what we are becoming feels like someone else, not to mention hard. The thought of feeling this tired and overwhelmed for much longer is not appealing to me and I'm frustrated that I even exist in these deep thoughts for more than one quick minute.  Intellectually, I knew we would find ourselves here but to actually be here, feels different than what I expected.


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