Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rest for the wicked

I just spent a week in London with my two daughters, Kelly (lives in Edinburgh) and Amy (lives in Madrid), while Bob spent the week at his brother's house on the Chesapeake Bay.

Having had a week’s break from caregiving, I find it hard to put my feelings into words. Bob had two brothers, a sister, and two in-laws to help him out. He did well, although he got quite tired from all the talking and finally gave in and took naps.

This is reassuring to me as it’s easy for a caregiver to fall into that “there’s nobody but me …” way of thinking. Just to be sure all would go smoothly, I had written and sent the Bob Instruction Booklet, which, of course, the brothers barely looked at, although his sister read carefully:)

Getting away was invigorating while I was away. We spent our time shopping and seeing plays -- without male restlessness or sighing. As we navigated the crowded streets, Kelly would say, “Mom, relax; I’m not dad.” I had trouble giving up my habit of checking over my shoulder every five seconds. Finally they put me at the end of the line and all was well.

I had hoped that the R&R would linger in my soul, but it really hasn’t. I try telling myself that this is something we can do next year as well, but I am haunted by the “progressively deteriorating” aspect of the disease, and I find myself not really believing. I want to start that week over again.

I need to put all of that behind me and enjoy the memories and remember the laughter. Here and now – that’s what we have.

It's really difficult to live my life and not the disease, especially during the lazy days of summer when time hangs heavy. I guess I should go clean out a closet or two.

My grandmother would be proud of me. Thank heavens for families.