I'm done being a caregiver. Therefore, caregiv'r is done.
When I began writing up the next entry, I kept asking myself *why* I was doing this. WHY am I peeling off the scabs of these wounds that had already healed?
To let people know what went on...? to let people know how hard it was, to give some voice to all those days when I answered that 'Things were going okay' when really, it felt like it was all falling apart.
What came after his initial month-long induction period in the hospital was the beginning of an incredibly dark couple of years, years that I am happy to now have as only fuzzy memory, when at the time I felt so overwhelmed by it all. I am still so tempted to go into more detail, to tell you all the crazy shit that happened & all the stuff I had to do, but really, this was never about me, how could it possibly be? I don't need to re-tell any of these stories, not here.
I've been reading Joan Didion's 'Year of Magical Thinking'. I read it years ago, when it first came out but now, given what has happened, it is a much different read. She, being her, very effectively put into words exactly how I feel:
"The way I write is who I am, or have become, yet this is a case in which I wish I had instead of words and their rhythms a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines. This is a case in which I need more than words to find the meaning."
This. This this this! This is how I feel. I wish I could take you by the hand & just fly you over to the events, have you stand for a moment in the room when certain things were happening, like the visiting ghosts did with Bob Cratchit. I'd put things in your hands, heavy things 'this is how it felt'.
Maybe I wanted to write the past out so that I wouldn't have to have these memories all to myself, so that at least you would be there with me. It was a really lonely, harrowing experience, but telling you guys isn't going to make it any different. The times have already been had. I've already done them.
I am learning to accept the past for what it was, learning now to thank those years for happening, as they have shaped who I am, which as it turns out, is a pretty tough (though compassionate) & capable cookie. The future is happening every minute. I am ready to push forward. I am more than ready to leave those nasty memories where they are now, which is in the back of my mind. The other day, during an awfully funny exchange at work (Yes! I am back!), I said 'Guys! Don't worry! I still tell jokes! I'm still funny!' and my co-worker said to me: "I think you're even funnier." I thought about it & agreed - and said that it's because I don't have anything to worry about anymore. I was always sad before. Maybe not outright mopey, but there was a grey gloomy cloud that followed me around for 4 whole years. Gloomy cloud is gone.
So thanks, I can't tell you how good it's been to have you reading along during these last 4 months. I've been really touched by all the nice things people have said to me, and pretty surprised by the response this blog had. I started this the day after Gord went back into the hospital after transplant. I remember telling him about it & he told me to send out the link to 'a couple of people'. Since then, there have been 25,953 visits to this blog. Amazing.
Gee whiz....so how do you end a blog? I'm reminded of marathon phone calls with friends when I was a kid. 'Okay....on the count of 3, we'll both hang up. 1.......2......3......
'Hey...you didn't hang up!'
'You didn't, either!'
'okay, for real this time.'