I was awake early this morning, worrying. I’ve gotten a lot better over the past year about not doing that – my mantra and my deeply felt belief is that It’s as It Is. Both of my faithful followers might be surprised to learn that despite my flippant public approach I would actually describe myself as deeply spiritual. I look at this world and I cannot believe there is not a plan, that this all happened randomly. I don’t believe that God exists to fix things, I don’t think God exists so that loved ones don’t get sick or to change something we don’t find comfortable, and I find it difficult to pray for God to do so. Whatever Being is able to cause all this to happen probably has a larger plan in mind than whether I wish my mom would not get sick. After years of struggle I’ve come to realize I prefer that. If God, in whatever guise you like, can create all of this from nothing His plan has to be a little better thought out than mine; He probably doesn’t need my advice. And, frankly, I find it a bit frightening to believe in a God who would.
While they are crazy people and are not to be trusted, my friends have encouraged me for quite a while to start a blog. I held back for a couple reasons – I felt embarrassed, mostly; posting a blog is rather like taking out a billboard sign saying, Look At Me I’m Special You Need To Pay Attention To What I Have To Say. But I also had to decide how much of myself I would put out into the world. Years ago I had a friend whose main coping mechanism was humor. I decided that wasn’t such a bad thing and I use it often. However – is my blog going to be only that, or am I going to be true to all of myself?
The other side of that is how well I can manage to be true to myself and still honor the privacy of the people in my life.
Like most people *at my age* – not a term I like – I’m dealing with aging parents. They know how old they are so I don’t think I’m violating a privacy to mention that. Last April the aneurysm which plagued my father’s brain for years had reached the size of a ping pong ball and required emergency surgery – a craniotomy. Here’s my advice: If at all possible, never have a craniotomy. I’m considering having my scalp tattooed: No Craniotomy Zone, inside a circle with a slash.
And since my mom told me if I don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything, I will not tell you what I think about world-famous neurosurgeons with God complexes surrounded by a phalanx of residents plowing down hospital hallways looking neither to the left nor the right; it’s rather what I think it would be like watching the Tour d’ France peloton pass by, lots of action but no personal involvement with the onlookers other than if they happen to toss an empty water bottle your way.
Needless to say, my dad is now in a nursing home.
As an only child who lives 1,400 miles from my parents, this creates a bit of a juggling act for me and my family. I visited them six times last year, my husband and three of my kids made it over there and we’re tag-teaming each other pretty well. I have some awesome cousins and my aunt who live within a few hours drive of my parents and they have been great about visiting and helping too. My mom is in good health and taking care of things well but she’s not a teenager anymore and she gets tired and worn out with it all.
Of course all day I wonder how things are going over there, I feel a constant sadness for my parent’s situation, but oddly I don’t worry about them very much. I don’t know how to describe it, but I feel calm about the situation. It’s as it is, nothing I am able to do will change it.
What I worry about and what I pray about is knowing what I need to do and how to do it; when do I need to take action and when do I stay still.
And I’m worrying about that now because yesterday I talked to my mom and she is sick. She sounds horrid and she slept most of the day. I wanted to call this morning and see how she’s feeling but I bet she didn’t want the phone to ring at 5am. She’s had pneumonia before, and dad had it last month, does she have pneumonia? If so what actions need to be taken? How sick is she? Do I need to fly over? Should I check out flights now or should I wait? I’m already mentally packing a suitcase and figuring out what I’d do about getting Dog and Cat taken care of. You know what else I’m doing?
I’M WORRYING ABOUT MY TRAINING PLAN.
For the love of all that’s holy, I’m worrying how to get my runs done if I go help my parents.
Runners. We’re all crazy you know. But I’ll be a lot crazier if I don’t get to run and if I’m crazy I’m not going to be any help.