Life Turns On A Dime


Life Turns On A Dime

Life turns on a dime. The turns always take my breath away and I always experience a stab of fear, a brush of anxiety and apprehension. Whether a good turn or a bad turn my reaction to change is always the same at the beginning. At the age of 66 years old I have the understanding that all things come to pass. The fly in the ointment of that knowledge is that I forget it between the changes. Maybe that is a blessing. I like to call those times of non-awareness, God's Anesthesia. If you read my posts you soon come to know that I am a seeker. I am curious and I am excited by the changes that bring fear and anxiety. I received beautiful responses to the last blog I wrote. One woman told me that she has passed through to the other side regarding the issue I discussed. She gave me hope. She wrote her response well and it left me motivated rather than defeated. All of the responses woke me up and moved me far further along the path to freedom. The recovery programs call this "freedom from bondage to self".

Today I could not find my butt with both my hands and that is the truth if I have ever told it. If you could see the butt I am mentioning you would know how difficult it is to miss it. But today I woke up drifting along in my head as if I were on another planet and it was o.k.  I canceled a doctor's appointment that I did not see coming. My bad. I have not accepted that it is the end of November. Life in my world moves along without much need for defined points in time. The truth is that I had no idea it was this close to Thanksgiving. Given that perspective, it comes as no surprise that the date of my appointment, November 20th, simply did not exist in the near future for me. That one perspective led to very little planning for the care of my husband while I was to be gone for at least six hours. I had cobbled something together but I could not make peace with the arrangement. It was haphazard and not fair to him or the friend who offered to check in on him. Everything around my going to the doctor today felt wrong. I accepted it. My day turned on a dime.

There is always a reason one plan will not come together for no good reason at all. Today, apart from my lack of planning, my daughter-in-law needed to go to the emergency room in a town about 40 miles from here. She went to the local emergency room last night with no acceptable diagnosis for obvious symptoms. She will not read this post so I can tell you that this woman is not mentally healthy nor easy to be around but she is my son's wife and I care for her.  To make the trip they needed gas money and money for food. I asked about my step-granddaughter who is 21 years old and autistic. I offered for her to come stay with us until they came home. I love time with her. It is simple and honest and authentic. I saw the reason, the best reason, for staying home today when they said she could come over. My day turned on a dime.

Wal-Mart with Danielle is like going to a small country fair. Her inner world and my inner world find harmony. She loves to live in a fantasy world full of anime characters and they are real to her but she can leave them long enough to get through Wal-Mart. I join her in that world of hers as much by demand as by choice. Her enthusiasm for the characters and incessant telling of the changes in their kingdoms and the shocking new romances and the demise of one or the other of the royal family draws me into it. Thank goodness it is as easy as stepping along beside her when I merge myself into her world. I nod a great deal, respond with shock or awe or with a question about one of the characters. We talk about make-up and hair styles for her world. We enter Wal-Mart, take a cart and slip back into today, together. I know it is happening. She does not know it is happening and would be unmanageable if she did not fully believe her time away from her world was temporary. She has, in her own way, granted reality a part of her time and granted me her attention. We shop and she decides on dinner and her treats and we leave and she tells me we need to focus. I almost fell over when she told me it was time to focus. Me? She was right. Within three minutes of her comment,  I was hailed by a lady in the parking lot who pointed out I was leaving my purse in the shopping cart. My day turned on a dime.

Home now with dinner done. My husband is in bed, Danielle is in my room laughing and sharing with her "family". I am, as always, avoiding the glaringly obvious need to clean up around myself. I prefer to write. I wait for the tone that tells me my son has sent a message. I wait for the time for the chats I will be on tonight. I am content even in the midst of the chaos scattered around me on all sides. I believe every day that I will clean it all and be so happy by bedtime. It is a lie I tell myself. It replaces what was, "I am not going to drink today." But the chaos is not killing me. It is my chaos after all. This is new acceptance for me. The tone sounds and I receive a message that the doctors have found a couple of issues that need to be addressed. All well and good if my son and his wife had insurance. In this case the "if" is a formidable word. I fight an anger at a system I cannot change and the powerlessness of no insurance.  Unease begins roaming around in me creating a trail of angst. I shake it off. Another tone and my son tells me they are coming our way to pick up Danielle and take her home. I don't see her often. I always feel a loss when she leaves. They arrive and we share the sentences that maintain a bond resembling nothing so much as the tenuous treaty between two rivaling countries. They leave and the outside cat rubs against my legs begging for hugs. I pick him up and hold him close to me whispering to him how beautiful he is and how much I love him and he makes a mewing sound like a small baby. I stand holding him against me and whisper into his ear for a few more moments. He says, without saying, "Let me down!" and I let him down. He is an outside cat. Who am I to tell him no.  I turn to go into the house.  My day turns on a dime.

I push the plan I had to do more laundry and to wash dishes back and out of sight. Instead, I find a documentary on the fashion house of Christian Dior and I watch it. It is in French with English subtitles. I relax and watch the models transform as they dress and are made-up for the runway. It is time for me to reclaim my dignity. Dishes, laundry and then I find myself here writing a post about a day that I will not soon forget though I have no idea why it has been so memorable. Following the wisdom of someone in the chats earlier tonight, I will stop wondering why it was a memorable day and revel in the tender mercies scattered throughout my day. More than likely I will live to wake up in the morning and my day will, in all probability, turn on a dime. The child in me whispered that she will have more fun than I will tomorrow because she is allowed to jump into the middle of puddles. I say to her not to be preposterous because it has not rained. My day will not turn on a dime again until tomorrow. I think of my husband and the burden of having frontotemporal degeneration and I marvel at how little he complains. I get a ridiculous shiver of joy for no good reason.


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So true Lark...the little things that we least expect can be the best parts of the day if we just let them be...doesn't mean we don't deal with the chaos...we just don't let it own us...we own the day (or the moments in the day). Thanks for sharing. You are such a gifted writer.