A Lesson from Flying
Will this be coherent? No promises
It has been exactly one week since we’ve moved from Phoenix, AZ to Pittsburg, CA, and I couldn’t be more thrilled so far with the way things are going.
We flew in last Friday and this was a HUGE undertaking for us. Yes, I was tired from all the packing and lifting but I was especially stressed about the aspect of flying.
Yes, I have flown before. Yes, each time I fly I make it in one piece and realize it’s not so bad. However, that doesn’t take away from the initial FEAR within the anticipation of the moment.
And I sat there, holding my husband’s hand and gripped with a paralyzing fear as we took off and for a short while after, I just prayed. I prayed we’d make it there okay. I prayed I wouldn’t freak out and scare the other passengers on board. Mostly, I prayed that my husband made it safely through the air and to our destination without any incidents.
After being served my complimentary coffee (to which the afterthought occurred that this was probably not what I needed: to be extra wired when I was already on all cylinders and close to panic), I decided to look out of the window. Which I NEVER do, although Marc always insists that I sit next to the window, “just in case the moment strikes you.” And it did. Something told me to take a look.
Immediately upon lifting the shade and looking into the cloud-laden sky, I witnessed a lightning strike; and instead of increasing my fear, it removed it completely. It was so incredibly beautiful and exciting to see this.
After which I noticed, I am in the clouds. When will I ever get to be so close to something I love to admire from a distance?
You see, I am a huge weather nerd. I absolutely love cloudy days, lightning, rain, hail, and watching most nature TV shows that feature storms and natural disasters. Do I fear the damage it could cause? Yes. But I love the beauty of those things that end up being so destructive. I had an Earth Science teacher in high school who really molded this passion for me. So, seeing what should have made me worried or scared, didn’t.
What I learned in that moment was that sometimes the fear overwhelms us to the point that we miss what is beautiful and worthy of our attention in that moment.
My fear for my husband’s life has consumed so much of me that I have missed out on a lot more than I will probably realize. Yet, in that moment, he was sitting next to me, he was happy and smiling and that is what mattered.
I would love to have him with me FOREVER but reality is that might not be possible. What is possible is enjoying those moments that I do have with him. Fear does not change the end result, BUT it can change the moments you have before you get to the end.
Ready for the cliches?
1) Life is a journey.
2) Caregiving is its own journey… and within the journey of caring for another person is your individual journey to find yourself, not only as a caregiver but as a person outside of caregiving.
I know who I used to be before my husband got sick, but I am a different person now. Better or worse, I’ve yet to decide, but definitely different. My hugest fear comes from not knowing how to act around him and with him if I am not worrying about him.
You are not the same person going into a crisis as you will be coming out of it, or even while you are going through it. By affording myself the privilege to accept these changes that I have to make within myself by setting aside the fear and embracing the now, it allows him to accept those changes he has to make within himself so that we can both find a way to weather the storm together and enjoy our lives in the here and now.
Welcome to my new journey.
- When A Blessing Comes In Different Package (caregiving.com)
- Caring for the Caregiver (caregiving.com)
- The Balm for Caregiving Pain (caregiving.com)
- What’s Caregiving Like for You? Take our Annual Survey (caregiving.com)
- Give to CareGiving.com (caregiving.com)
- Book Review: Forever a Caregiver (caregiving.com)
- Book Review: Suddenly A Caregiver (caregiving.com)