Leaves are falling out of the trees. The meadows are turning brown. The lawn is bright green. 2 crows walking in their independent meanderings peck for worms in and out of the 2 shades of green, the shadow of the house and the sunlight. One of the crows raised its head and walked along the edge of the shadow.
On waking this morning I already felt what I've been feeling ever since: burnt plumb out. It's something sleep doesn't cure. It's a kind of paralysis, unable to move without forcing it. Unable to take an interest. Feeling like I want to go out the door and never come back. Let somebody else handle it. Irrational thinking to be sure, and I know it. Thoughts and feelings run wide open buzzing like a dirt bike race. Exhausted from it. Even feeling resentment toward Jr for doing this to me. Again, like getting mad at the ocean.
What my more sensible mind knows is I committed to whatever when I promised Jr I'd stay with him all the way. I didn't say it idly. I said it believing I could take more than I actually can take. I've done that before and paid the price. This with Jr isn't like paying a price for committing beyond my abilities. Not at all. Like when I believed wiping him was where I drew the line, that line is way in the past to where wiping him is nothing to even notice.
I've reached a place that has been my limit heretofore. It doesn't mean I can't or won't transcend it. I will. I'll push the envelope of my own limitations. No threat of nervous breakdown with all the support around me. It's time now to start calling on the support. I called Melia this morning to ask her to stay with Jr and hour and a half today while I go to doctor appointment and grocery store to get some little cups of pudding and apple sauce to mix his medications in. He can't swallow the pills as of the last couple of days.
Judy from Hospice came this morning to clean him. Since the last couple days have brought changes that require new thinking and doing, she was telling me how to turn him over in the bed every few hours, mix his pills with pudding or something after crushing them. I didn't want to hear any of it. I wanted not to listen. I wanted to be the average man and just not hear it when a woman talks. I wanted to shut down. I wanted to go home and sleep in my bed and stay in the bed until it turned boring, which I imagined would be at least a few days.
I even found myself thinking I wish Jr would just let go, a thought I don't allow. But I don't like denial either, so I let myself think it. It's a thought I give no attention, because I don't mean it. It's just my frustrated, burned out mind dragging up all the self-centered ways of seeing everything. I'm even doubting my interpretations of the waves of joy and sorrow I feel so much of the time, thinking it has been stress all along and it's making me cuckoo. I tell myself it's about Jr, not about me. I see that if I'm going to go on keeping Jr, I have reached a place where I have to take care of me too or I might not be able to make it. Bullshit. I'll make it.
A lot of self-serving, self-doubt thinking and almost entirely irrational. It feels like the mind wanting to shut down. Again, I tend to see it as the transcendent place where I push the envelope of my own abilities.
I just now heard some stirrings. I went to see how Jr was doing. He was wanting to get up to pee. When he saw I was there to help him get up, he smiled with that look that says, It's you, the one that helps me. My heart melted and I knew what I'm doing writing this is letting off steam to keep the boiler from blowing, because I've no choice but to go through this and come out the other end. It's like the way Jr describes his life---God put this down in front of me for me to get through it. Jr too.
I helped him to the pottie chair. He'd already wet his diapers and the pad on the bed. No problem. Wet diaper in one of those plastic grocery store bags, tied and in the trash. Wet pad to washing machine. New clean pad in place on the bed. Not even a minute. Using a new kind of diaper I'm not comfortable with, but will have them learned soon. Something about that moment relieved some of my inner tension. What it did was pull me outside my head a moment to clarify perspective.
One of Jr's friends told me a few days ago I need to do this kind of work for pay. He said I'm good at it and would make good money. I had to tell him I couldn't do this for money, there's no money worth what I'm going through, and I don't ever aim to do it again. Jr just now asked me for some water. I jumped and was happy to get it for him, feeling returning to my heart. I keep little bottles of water in the refrigerator. Unscrewing the cap to one, I felt a welling up in the heart that stopped me, the dam holding back the tears about to break. I leaned my forehead on the edge of the kitchen sink and let a few tears fall to the floor, tears of the joy I feel serving the master.
Took him off the pottie chair and sat him on an open diaper on the bed and fidgeted around trying to get that thing fastened, then him comfortable. I wanted to get him closer to the center of the bed without pushing and pulling on him, went around to the other side and pulled the pad he was lying on and did it easily. I said, 'We done it.' He smiled his particularly Wiley Maxwell smile and went to clap his hands, but missed. Tried again and missed. Hands connected the third time and held each other as he lay back with a smile on his face. Again, he told me he couldn't make it without me, and my heart came back.