Over the past week and a half I’ve dealt with stress around my father’s health. He hasn’t been well for a few years, not since his second bout with cancer. You see, when they started him on chemo they initially miscalculated the dosage he needed and grossly overdosed his system with chemo medication. So yes, his horribly aggressive cancer was kicked to hell and back. As was his GI function and immune system.
Permanently. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.
Something runs in my family, however: an iron will. Thus my father carries on despite his failing body. A month ago he broke a vertebrae and this recovery went slower than previous, similar ones. A week and a half ago pneumonia hit along with a constellation of other issues I can’t even begin to enumerate. Rushing him to the ER I was his advocate and bulldog so he could once again find a space of comfort. I understand his body is failing him, this can’t be helped. This is a natural course. In the meantime I’ll do all I can to keep him at peace.
But, let’s face it, became exhausted. I spent days half there, half home. Demands pulled at me, straining my nerves and body. My husband was a darling, picking up so much slack, and yet things piled up. Laundry, groceries, watering the cat. You know how it goes.
I railed against my obligations. I hated the groceries. I despised the laundry. I wanted to break some dishes. Seriously, what would you do in my shoes?
Yet as I gave in and did the inescapable, required elements of life, I rediscovered their comforts. No matter how much I wanted to hate the time and effort involved, they became a balm to my aching psyche.
I wrapped myself protectively in a shell of momentum, expectation, and patterns which made up my daily grind, and thus was comforted. This is a temporary shell. I drift back and forth between supporting my father and the tedium of daily rituals.
They are the unexpected calm in my storm.