Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Realities

posted by Mary Lello, Thursday, January 8, 2009, 8:34 PM

I heard Jim had a great day today. I was at the office all day long so didn't get to witness it. Donna said Jim was just very much "Jim today", and David Puelle also said that Jim had changed so much from just 3 days ago. His OT session with Chris was also really good in that his ability to connect the dots of his short term memory came back very quickly after a few tests. Donna said his session with Jerry Sanders was also 'fantastic'.


I got home around 7:00, just in time for dinner (fish tacos all made from scratch by Kathy Palmer. OMG, girl, they were absolutely fantastic!!!! If you ever want to move to a beach in Mexico and set up a stand that sells these tacos I'll go with you. There's money to be made in your dish and tan lines to be conquered!) So I saw Jim on the tired side of the day but it was so very good to hear how well he did today.

I'm hitting a new reality as we get closer to Saturday and Donna leaving us. I'm realizing that she will head back to CO and her life, as she should! But her life will be normal; no bed in the living room or chemo and radiation to drive to every day or 5 hundred little things to do for someone before taking your own shower. I know, all you mothers out there are laughing at that last line but this has not been my reality for all these years. I'm not complaining - I hope. I'm just hitting this wall a little hard and it scares me.

This IS our life now. Donna and Stacie have only come to stay in it for a short while. All of you who will be brought on board to help will only visit this life for whatever time you are needed and then you will go home to your 'normal' lives. THIS is now Jim and my life. It is far from "normal" and I must now find a new definition for what 'normal' is. As my friend Deb Estelle said "this news sucks".

I'm reminded of when I was a Senior in High School and I was into rock climbing with friends who were part of Tony Monterio's Mime Troup. I was in Harrison, Maine and climbing a pretty easy face - but it was one of my first climbs ever. I was on belay and climbing up. I got to a point where I could see no hand holds and could feel no foot holds. I couldn't move. And the longer I clung to the rock the more terrified and frozen with fear I became. I yelled to my friends at the top to pull me up. After some silence I heard my friend lean over the cliff and calmly yell down to me that they could not pull me up. I had to climb the rock by myself. I had to find the next hand hold and the next toe hold and I had to MOVE on my own! They could only keep me from falling, they could NOT just pull me up the face. I was on my own.

At the ripe age of 16 years old I learned what being on your own really meant. I started to cry. I started to shake and thought I might die. And then I realized how powerful an emotion this fear was. My body was shaking and I realized that all that energy was potential. That if I channeled that energy out of my head and into my body it would probably be very powerful. And I did this. I remember literally forcing my fear into my muscles, into my hands, arms and feet and I began to move. I began to climb that friggin' wall and I kept moving.

This is how I feel now, at the ripe age of 52. I cannot be paralyzed by this fear or this new reality. I have to put this fear into forward motion and I have to face this new reality of what Jim and my life is right now. For however long it takes him to beat this and to heal this is our challenge and I will push this fear into my legs to walk into the next doctors office or help Jim up the stairs and to bed. I will make this fear a positive energy within me and I will accept this life as it is, right now, with Jim still here beside me.

Because that's all that I really want anyway.

Tomorrow is a new climb.

Good night all, and we do know you are all out there keeping us on belay!


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