Fools rush in

I'm back to that quote I used the other day from Hope Floats.

"...beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will…”

Right now, I'm at a beginning that could well be an ending and true to the quote, I am both scared and sad and making plenty of room for a whole bunch of hope to float right up.

Our friend LD is not doing so good. She's in some pain and she can't get a referral to a doctor that can move forward with the tests and figure out what to do next. Rob said it best this morning; I don't know whether to cheer her on in the fight or sit and hold her hand.

And, she's allergic to the codeine contained in most pain pills. And, she's disheartened and she needs somebody to talk to. And, I'm betting she's just the least little bit scared. And, probably a whole lot mad that she can't get around and take care of herself. And, I know how to listen to all that without giving advice or trying to "fix" it or deny it.

It's been a long time since I let myself get this close to somebody that might need help.

I lived through the dying years. The days when AIDS was trying to take us all. I've held hands and cleaned up messes and given shots and administered meds and counted pills and held my breath, waiting for someone to take their next breath...or not. I've lived on hospital food and slept in the bottom corner of a hospital bed...or worse, on one of their "torture" cots. I make an excellent caregiver, watching the professionals and repeating what they do. Studying and observing and helping without hovering, staying out of the way, but always being where I need to be. Trusting myself to do what I can...all I can. And, not blaming myself when I mess up.

And, when my obligations were fulfilled for the friends I had, I insulated myself from sickness and death. I just didn't deal with it on the level of people. I chose not to take it on. I had to deal with it in animals, which is hard, but it's not the same thing. With an animal, you get to decide when enough is enough. But, with people, enough is just when the hard part gets started.

So, you can imagine my inclination to RUN the other way.

But, fools rush in and I'm trying to schedule a playdate with her tomorrow. I'll try to do some shopping, if she'll let me, and will help with any errands she needs and water the plants. But, realistically, I just want to sit and talk. Maybe watch a movie. I'll take some applique or maybe I'll take Alba and work on a baby quilt. I'll try to mop the floor and will excuse myself and scrub the toilet. If I get a chance, I'll do a load of laundry. And, any folding or putting away. I'm going to take a big container of frozen "Suzanne's Potatoe Soup" (the manna of life) for lunch and leave the leftovers.

And, I know how to work with her other friends without stepping on anyone's toes, and I've generated excitement around people coordinating visits so that we aren't all there at once, but somebody is there almost every day. And, we split the work to make it manageable for us all.

That's me. The organizer. Behind the scenes, moving things along. Stepping in where I can. Staying away when I need to. Taking care of me and my family and still finding time for friends.

Apparently there's no amount of insulation that can protect me forever, and life does go on. And, I get to decide how much I want to participate.

And, I want to participate this much. Which is a lot.

My cup runneth over. And, that's why I've been crying off and on for most of a week.

The middle part may be the most important part. But, you don't get to have a middle without beginnings and endings.

I know that all my friends will happily put LD in their thoughts and prayers. And, remember the rest of us, too, please. I think there's a bunch of us going to do this together.

Blessing 4: I'm glad I am who I am.


Update at noon. I talked to LD and she is not doing as badly as was reported. She had a fall and she's in some pain from that and can't get out. But, others are helping and I will be visiting with her tomorrow. We are going to watch a movie. And, we're going to talk. And, I made her promise not to clean up for me...anything she needs doing, we'll do together when I get there.

So, hope floated right up, didn't it? I am excited and so is she about tomorrow. lw


Becky said...

And I am thankful for who you are too, Lane. Bless your heart for loving folks and taking care of those who suffer. Love you.

lesthook said...

You're a good friend Lane. I have been a caregiver too and know it can be hard,but rewarding. I also understand the frustration of being allergic to codiene as I am allergic to it too. Bless you and your friend.

Shevvy said...

She is very lucky to have you as a friend.

Just make sure that while looking after other people you look after yourself as well. You need to be strong before you can help others.

Kath said...

I think you should be proud to be who you are Lane x

Linda in TX said...

My dad had Alzheimers'. My daughter had cancer last summer. So I know exactly precisely absolutely what you're saying. I know you'll throw yourself in because that's what you're made of. And it will be the best thing you ever did. It was for me.

Anonymous said...

You are who you are, and you are good!

Patricia said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said (much better than I). I will remember you and LD tomorrow. You will probably never know how much LD appreciates you!

Michelle said...

You are such a kind, giving, loving friend. God bless you for your kindness. LD is truly blessed to have you as a 'Godsent friend'.

Quiltluver said...

Lane, your post touched my heart and hit a little too close to home. You are a wonderful friend for LD, and I can tell that she appreciates all of your thoughtful help.

Anonymous said...

I wish more people were like you and that includes myself. Thanks for sharing.

Bratling said...

My Mother is a cancer survivor. It's a scary, frightening word, but it can be survivable. I should know--Mom had three primary cancers all at the same time. If she can survive ovarian, breast, and cervical cancer all at the same time (and the ovarian cancer was fairly far advanced. They removed a ten pound tumor, and then the doc kvetched at her for losing weight!) then your friend can survive too. I'll be praying for you both.

qltmom9 said...

Oh, you've made me bawl. I used to be an RN and could say the same thing about caring, then resting and returning. I've been able to take care of someone dying lately too. I LOVE love LoVe the "not blaming myself when I mess up" part...OUCH, convicting. I still have nightmares about mistakes I made...simple little things that could have been bad, weren't, but...
And, I blame myself now when I could have found a way to get insurance to do something cheaper, or too late find a dentist that is better...it goes on and on. I HATE that blaming myself. Didn't know others did it too. Your blog is good for me. Thank you.

KaHolly said...

Have a great day with your friend. Blessing #5: YOU!