I stand at a crossroad.
There is no surprise. For years I pretended not to see it, concentrating on my own road full of twists and turns, dips and potholes; distracted by precious cargo, flowers blooming along the path and long easy stretches walking in the sun.
But now a new direction looms before me. It is dark and unknown, filled with landmines and difficult terrain. In fact there's a glaring neon sign screaming, "WRONG WAY!" Yet, here I go, right or wrong, ready or not.
Even though it's cloudy and hard to see, I continue on, reckless and hopeless trying to find my way. The rain pours down and I am in uncharted territory, lost and scared. Oh my God, what was I thinking moving my father from NJ to NY?! I spent forever getting him set up with all those benefits and a home health aide who does all the stuff I don't want to do!
But, at least he's not two bridges away.
Oh my GOD he's not two bridges away! He's going to be right here!
Air. I need air! ARGH!!! Who put this walker in front of me! %*#&!@!
Wait... that's why we're moving him. So he can be closer. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It's a good thing.
There are just So. Many. Doctors.
Internist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, podiatrist, vascular, dermatologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, oncologist, pain management...
Who are just So. Done. With. Him. He needs new ones.
Oh jeez! I have to find new ones!
Tape, red and hot, strangling me. Can't breathe.
No! I will fight my way through, battle social services, find a kind, reliable and capable new home health aide. I'll get the benefits straightened out and, and, I won't even look at the mountain in front of me. I'll just keep climbing up up up.
Get him packed and moved. Buy a ton of new (nice) shit (that he will destroy). Organize everything. Make sure we find the right person to manage his meds.
Don't think. One step at a time. Call electric, cable, phone, movers.
Social services. Advocates for the aging. Medicaid.
Things will get done. We have already made some progress.
The rain drizzles down but the storm cloud lifts just a little. Even though it is dark, the mood has lightened, brightening the landscape. I can still make out the blur of the neon sign flashing ominously in the haze but there's no turning back now. For better or for worse we are on this new road.
Maybe, just maybe we are headed in the right direction.
You can read more about this journey as well as many other lighter essays on Icescreammama.com