The morning opened somewhat like the evening before, cold, gray, rain making me feel unusually, uneasy, and unless the dawn breaks out into bright, golden rays of light, it will be difficult to shake the sensation I have. For now, as the raindrops hit the window and the gray holds strong, I will sit pensively.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the darkness turns to dawn. I can see the bricks that form the patio floor glisten from the rain and the distant houses begin to show on the horizon. My thoughts are as gray as it is outside. In addition, some of the concerns are about me; the grayness allows me to see how unsettled I feel about tomorrow. Question after question hit me swiftly, like the darts puncturing the surface of the board, each demanding solutions for the present and my future. I do not have those answers and I may never have them.
My questions, my thoughts, the concerns are dominated by my own aging and have developed by being the primary caretaker for my Mother and managing my Father’s care for the last year prior to his death. I watched and I watch as they each became more dependent for life care. Each was active until their early eighties and then their abilities changed drastically. My father never addressed how he felt about having two hired people living in his house and caring for, although, he did not say a lot the day I asked him for his car keys. My mother, on the other hand, is quite aware of the changes that she has experienced. She loves life and holds on to it with a will that few could equal, Even though her inner strength is strong, the reality of her life is now overwhelming to her. At times, when we talk I know she is struggling to keep her will. However, at the end of the day, before the exhaustion sets in, before their bodies are free to rejuvenate one day he knew and Momma knows that they are and were not alone. I am always there, my sister is not far away and M. has been constant in his vigil
I place myself in their shoes and I become very frightened. I shout to my self, very loudly and very clearly, that it will not be the same for me. I will be alone, I will not have a trusted family member next to me, and I will not have “trust”.
I have never liked being alone–
Suddenly the “what If’s” set in.
- What if I have a debilitating stroke—
- What if I have my father’s heart? By-pass surgery in my 80’s alone–
- What if I am incontinent–
- What if I cannot speak well or have a tracheotomy–
- What if I cannot see well–
- What if my memory becomes inconsistent–
- What if death does not come speedily
- What if
Yes, what if, what if you feel distrust,
What if you are alone?
Moreover, what if no one hears your plea?