Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby.
"I shine when...." I sat with this prompt for days. The Spirits of Joy online vision book class ends today. Although I have other prompts still to do, I wanted to finish this one before the class ended. When do I shine? As I began to gather pictures that seemed to have something to do with this, I began to understand I shine when I find a light within my depths that allows me to see where and how to move ahead from confused darkness, that allows me to release troubles from the hold they have on me.
This light must must illuminate the ruins until I can find a door to go through.
Two weeks ago I felt like a small boat lost in a churning ocean. If I only knew how to swim, or if only I had a life preserver or a compass, I could save myself. It's horrible to feel lost, rudderless, small.
Then a new thought appeared. I'm not a rudderless helpless boat, I am the leader of a team. What a reframe! What a life saver. Though I don't know how to swim well enough to save myself in an ocean, I do know how to build a team. I do know how to find my own cheering squad.
So I've built my five part team for now. My husband is in some stage of dementia. He still drives, plays tennis, meets with friends, but his problem solving skills are weak. Changes will escalate. I know there will be other teams as he moves on. Today we're dealing with legal aspects that must be changed now. Later when our trust is drawn up again, we'll find an attorney our sons will be comfortable with.
Next there are back up helpers for "when the time comes" and my husband needs more help. I've already spoken to people who will move into action to help then. At this point this all seems so remote, and we know how relentless this illness can be.
There's a support team for me, for my emotional and physical health which includes a life coach and a caregivers support group to help deal with the difficulties my husband will experience and those I'll have difficulty dealing with later.
Family support: The very best part is that my sons have figured out how to be supportive and show their caring.
Friends: I need to experience the total joy of asking for what I want and need from my friends. It will be better to think of what I want ahead of time so when I'm wallowing in misery and sadness, they can step in. I am imagining everyone saying yes, once I figure out what to ask for. This is a challenge for me.
Baruch ata adonai...you built me up when a part of me died and I needed to find myself again. I began to pray, to write prayers, to talk to you directly. Thank you for showing me the way again. You turned on the light. You told me to plan as much as I can, and then show up and be gentle with my husband and gentle with myself. This is a journey I can't go on alone. Amen