I’ve been clenching my jaw lately. This is evidenced by the fact that my jaw aches much of the time. Unless there’s something else that could be causing it that I’m not thinking of – anyone have any ideas?
I can’t imagine why I’d be doing this aside from the fact that this has been a very frustrating time and it only seems to go on and on in the same vein. I know that “one day at a time” is the approach to this, I really do. It’s the only way to handle life without feeling completely overwhelmed – it’s the only way to survive sometimes.
And yet, there are moments when it seems as though there’s just no end to it. It’s practically impossible to not look at the future and for the present to not color that view.
Yes, we hope for the best. I need to hope for the best. And to pray for it. And I ask for the grace to carry on. And I revel in the love that Rob and I have for each other at any and every opportunity. But there’s still that nagging, whining voice in the back of my head. There are times when the most off-the-wall thing comes out of my father-in-law’s mouth and I’m just washed over with this cold feeling because I have no idea where we are or where he is.
Sometimes it’s shock, sometimes it’s disappointment. Okay, 9 times out of 10 it’s disappointment. I know that as time goes on we’ll train ourselves to not get our hopes up when he’s having a good day or even a good conversation. Because if the stretch of time I spent with him yesterday is any indication, what he says or remembers or understands right now has no bearing whatsoever on an hour from now. And it’s toughest when you’re talking to him and he has this “A HA!” moment and you’re all “Yeah!” and wanting to pump your fist in the air…and then that off-the-wall thing comes out and you’re completely baffled all over again.
You know the image that just came to mind as I typed that? Trying to put a slightly-too-small fitted sheet on a mattress. You think you’re all good up until you get to that fourth corner and then WHOOPS!. One of the other corners pops off as a result. You fix that one and think you’re okay, until you look and see that yet another one came off. And on and on. You just never have enough sheet to cover everything.
That is sort of how this feels.
And at the end of all of this is the overwhelming notion that this is NOT ABOUT ME. It’s about him. He’s the one going through this illness. Not me.
And yet I am. We are.
One day at a time.