Take care!!!!…… These are words we say frequently to people, and yet we don't really have true feelings behind them.
I'm going home!
My short stent in Texas, was life altering, and as I said before….Surreal. I'm going to go home, and will immediately start engaging in my life, the way I always have before. I am going to go to work, I'm going to pick up my children, I'm going to cook dinner, clean the house, take the kids to practices, and restart my exercise routine.
While I was in Texas, I witnessed a life that I don't have to think about, on a minute to minute basis, because it isn't in front of me. I can go on living a normal life, while 2,000 miles away, my loved ones lives, are being turned upside down. Mama P's radiation is over, but now she just waits….six weeks….to find out her fate..
My dad, who is her only real support system, handles this solely on his own. I can't imagine the stress he's enduring, due to worry, fear, lack of sleep, and minimal support for his own feelings and thought processes, due to needing to stay strong for her. I can honestly say that he has surprised me. I would have never have viewed him to be capable of this kind of challenge, because he's the kind of person who has always needed to be cared for, not the kind who is the caretaker. But….. He has been able to look inside himself, and has been able to recognize where he has fallen short, in his life thus far, and has ended up being the best caretaker one could ask for. I'm very proud of how far he's come, though it pains me deeply to see him hurt so badly.
It can be viewed as either a luxury, or a curse, that I am not there every day, to see the emotional rollercoaster of their lives. I don't have to watch as she panics, when she, or my dad see a strange spot, or notices a change, that they immediately, and for good reason, assume is the recurrence of her cancer. But… On the opposite accord, I can't hug her when I want to, and we cant cry together, when we both so desperately need to, though I'm certain she knows I'm there at heart.
I'm glad we visited, even for a short time, because every moment counts:). I liked that I could be there to listen to her fears…. to cry with her….to cry with my dad. But then also be there to laugh, be silly, and enjoy life:)
As my dad fought to get himself together, through his tears yesterday, he told me that I probably wouldn't feel what he was feeling, while I was visiting, but that I most likely would, after I left. He was right. Because without her in front of me, to assure me she's ok, and see it with my own two eyes, I can't truly know! He then told me he felt foolish about his own worries, and thought processes, because they were minuscule in comparison to hers, and he wished he hadn't been so worried about his feelings in the beginning!!!
This floored me more than anything. Of course his feelings were valid, and he's entitled to every single one. It doesn't make him weak. It doesn't make him look stupid. It doesn't make him selfish….. It makes him human. I have enjoyed listening to how much he's grown as a person….a man….a husband. I feel confident that she is in the best hands, no matter how much he doubts himself. Because now, he has placed her needs, above his own. I feel so blessed to have them both:).
At home, if I say “Take care”, to my partner Renee, as I leave the house, I mean for her to “take care” of the kids, “take care” of the dishes or laundry, “take care” of the overgrown yard, or “take care” of dinner:). I don't think this is how this phrase was meant to be used….but….I will probably still use it in this manner, on occasion.
Tonight, before boarding the plane, and as I said goodbye to my dad and Patty, I said “Take Care”, and for once, I meant it differently than I ever have.
When I said “Take care” this time, I truly meant take care of yourselves, and take care of each other…… But, Im pretty sure they knew that:).