Where has my life gone? The one that Karen and I had always planned for as we reached our "Golden Years". The one that included our going from college town to college town in 3-4 year intervals, Karen teaching (she loves to teach and is very good at it) at the local community college, college, or university-
learning all about the local history, making new friends, and just immersing ourselves into a new culture every few years. The one where, after a lifetime of caregiving for others, we could just turn our attentions to each other and enjoy our newfound freedom. The one where we could take long walks, hand in hand and share our deepest secrets and desires. The one where we could be involved in all of our granddaughter's extracurricular's to the point of her embarrassment and our unending pride. The one where we just... could...
I find myself mourning for that lost world on occasion. It saddens me that my granddaughter might need a ride home from school after academic practice and not only am I not capable of giving her a ride, Karen
usually is not comfortable enough leaving me alone long enough to go pick her up so we leave her and her parents hanging, trying to solve the logistics of a situation that was not in our plans. I feel a deep sense of loss when I must not only turn down casual get togethers or visiting family but also am starting to be so fogged in that I'm turning down invitations from my son to spend the afternoon at his home watching football. Another familiar thing going by the wayside.
Then I get to thinking about my life as it is today, not in that planned future. The never ending nights of getting only 2-3 hours sleep per day, and usually in 10-20 minute intervals at that. The continual rolling in and out of my mental fog, seeing familiar objects and thinking you know what that is and you've used it
before but having absolutely no idea now of what it is or it's intended use. Seeing objects, pets, and people you know can't be where you see them or doing what you think they're doing. The never ending fatigue and apathy, always washing over you like a wet, heavy blanket. The continual uncertainty....
Then I kind of became ashamed of myself for the self pity and began to reevaluate my current being. First and foremost, I'M ALIVE! I still get to spend time with the love of my life, I still occasionally am up to going to the grocery store or some such, I still occasionally
get to some of our granddaughter's extracurricular activities. I'm relatively healthy, in less pain now than I have been in years. BTW, when your neurologist asks how your migraines are doing you absolutely should not respond something to the effect that the crazier you become, the less the migraines bother you. Trust me, she nor your wife will appreciate the sentiment.
I still get to see the beauty of the changing seasons, the lonesome call of the doves who occupy some cover along the shore of our lake, the majesty of the turtle who regularly swims just below the surface of the lake, near the shore behind our condo, searching for it's evening meal. He has become an old friend, one I look for from day to day as a sign of some consistency. I can visit my happy place when things start roaring to far out of control, I'm becoming much better at that. And most of all, I'M LOVED! and that love is shown to me in both great and smalls ways each and every day.
So, in the end, when I stop and count my blessings and forget about what could have been, I realize that I have a pretty perfect life at the moment,
regardless of what we had planned or our notions of what could/should have been our life. I decided the best thing is to just go with whatever comes our way and deal with it to the best of our abilities at the time. Afterall, mourning a life that never was and can not be, is wasting what precious time I have left in my real life. That leaves no room for a pity party...