Shadow of Himself

Someone I know and love very much has been battling an ongoing medical issue for months now. Many, many months. My Beloved and I visited him today and while the visit was pleasant, it was very brief and very draining, emotionally.

The man I have known and loved seemed different today, and that made me sad. He seemed to be almost a shadow of the guy I know…

shadow manHis once lively and cantankerous demeanor seems stilled – he is quiet and withdrawn. The strong body that once seemed too small to hold all his big opinions – opinions on politics and Bigfoot and healthcare – now seems frail and weakened. The eyes that sparkled with a youthful orneriness that betrayed his many years of life seem a bit dimmed and pale. I am worried for him. And I am worried for me, if I have to be without him…

It is interesting, this experience called life. My Dad always said life was one big circle – “If you wait long enough, son, everything repeats itself.” I rarely contradict my father (he is one of the smartest guys I know), but he has it wrong. Time is one big circle; life is one small cycle. And I sense that cycle maybe rounding a corner and “heading into the home stretch.”

See, I never imagined being a caregiver – to anyone, really, but especially my parents. Call me naïve, but I guess at some insane, unconscious level, I always knew my parents would live forever. Or I would die first. My Mom proved that theory wrong. She left us almost six years ago. And now it seems that my Pop-pop is facing some serious health issues. I’m not sure what to do…

I guess it is that old paradox: Sometimes the answer is that there is no answer. Maybe the answer will come to me as the story unfolds. Hopefully my Mom and my other guardians will help me see the answer, if there is one. For now, I stand by, waiting and watching, hoping and asking for guidance. No one’s life in in jeopardy, and for that I am thankful. But as quality of life issues arise, I’m not sure where to find the answers. In fact, I’m not really even sure what the questions are.

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