This year has not turned out as planned, but then when do they ever?
Life is challenging right now. I went for a routine eye check in January and found out I had pretty significant cataracts in my left eye-when there were none in September. I went back last week and while I already knew the left eye was worse, I found out the right eye was starting up too. So, in a few months I'll get myself some bionic eyes. It's not a big surgery and the eye doctor assures me it doesn't mean my body is rapidly deteriorating-it's just one of those sucky things that happens sometimes. My cataracts are over achievers.
This was on Thursday. The day before I learned my father has esophageal cancer, also an over achieving kind and there isn't likely much more time for him. They are putting a feeding tube in on Tuesday, we are going all over town for boatloads of tests and on Friday we'll sit down with the oncologist and talk about what is best for my father, and for my mother. Mother has had her own difficulties and is finding walking and daily living a struggle too.
I'm juggling work, which I have to do, Mother, who is frail and losing her husband, and my father who is losing his life.
I think a lot about lessons learned from Uncle John-who taught me how to do all of these end of life things. I really didn't expect such a difficult final exam-but I'm going to give it my best shot.
I thought of telling John he had Parkinson's just as I was telling Daddy he has cancer. It's both a horrible thing to have to do and such an honor, if you can call it that, to share that moment. I'm trying to look at all of this as an honor. I'm sure I got that concept from the Tibetan Book of the Dead or some place, but I like it and i'm going to use it..
My mind is kind of swirly right now-deep thoughts and then a silly notion will just surface. I'm trying to stay focused when I need to, meditate when I can, and laugh as often as humanly possible. Death is serious stuff, but you can't let it stop you from living. My father was telling me about our neighbor who came over and when he heard the news he almost cried. I blurted out "well your not dead yet" and we all giggled. But it's true, he's not. There are still things left to do.
I heard him say "I love your Mother" for the first time. First time as in first time ever. It's always been understood, but it seems now is the time to speak things. So, I'll keep my ears and eyes open. That was my vow to Uncle John, not to look away. And I won't look away now either.
Of course, the fact that I'm slowly going blind may complicate things. Oi VEY. Is it whining to say sometimes it's hard to be me?