Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Courage? Retrospect

I was told I was very courageous a couple of days ago. My first thought was me! Courageous?? Funny, I don't think or feel that way. I'm down right miserable and terrified at times. I'm more like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.

I'm just getting by hopping troubles like a frog hops from water lily to water lily to keep from getting all wet. I actually had to stop and think what was I doing that could be considered courageous.

In the past few years I've had quite a few life altering events. My father's rapid onset dementia...what could be more challenging or heart breaking for a child? Granted I'm no little child on the outside, but deep inside, I still am. My stroke taking away half my body and my voice. Relearning how to do everything again or adapting ways to do 88% of what I used to do. My husband who was told by many doctors over the past thirteen years, "Any time now" finally reached the point of truly any time now. How I am still his caregiver.

Any one of these things could rock anybody's life off the tracks, but all at one time span of a year is insane. But yet I do realize that it can and does. And, it's happening to more than just me. I mean really, if I was the only one singled out to face all of this in the whole world... but statistically that would be like one person hitting the mega billion dollar lottery...it just doesn't happen. So somewhere out there is a family who is suffering the same life altering events or worse.

Would I be selfish to say I take comfort in that fact? Although I really won't wish this on anyone else. That would just be hateful or possibly wishful thinking on my part. But then, I figure anyone else faced with the same set of circumstances would be doing the same thing. Why it seems courageous to others is the fact that they haven't been punched in the gut with them like I have.

What brought on all this retrospective analysis to a head was my physical therapist telling me to relax. I answered him back with a quick comeback of "what's that?" I said it in a joking manner.
Later as I was kicking back to take a nap, it dawned on me that I no longer knew how to totally relax. I mean even in sleep mode I'm always listening. A choking, gurgling sound, or a tinkle of the goat bell, bed/oxygen alarms, power failures, or even the sound of fart coming from the other room and I'm wide awake, donning my brace to go check. It's actually a scary thought. I'm like the Lion when Toto confronts him.

Even in therapy when they sandwich my arm in heat packs before needling, I feel tinges of guilt like I shouldn't be lying there doing nothing. I should be doing something. If I doze off during the early evening trying to read something a blogger has said because I'm so exhausted, I feel as if I didn't do enough. It's no use telling me there's nothing to feel guilty about. Enough about that.

You know my tagline of "nothing is impossible." This is where it stems from and I guess that's why others see me as courageous, strong, or even inspirational. I can't take the credit for any of it.



So now you know.

3 comments:

Zan Marie said...

And another dose of {{{{{hugs}}}} to help you on your way, Jo. You amaze me, but then, I'm on the outside looking in. I do know that I've been in tough situations and kept plugging along to the chorus of "You're so courageous" before. You never feel like you are, but you really, truly are. {{{hugs}}}

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My wife doesn't know how to relax either.
I think we'd just all like to believe we would have the same strength to face what you do.
And my band plays that song often.

Barb Polan said...

Jo, whenever I'm frustrated by my limitations, I cry out, "Couldn't something be easy JUST ONCE?" Yes, God, I'm talking to you.Then I think that I don't have it as bad as you - doing everything by yourself AND watching your beloved fail. And, you're right - although my heart breaks for you, there is some comfort there in the "it could be worse" category.

As for courage - you wake up every morning delighted to help your husband, you continue to believe (truly) that nothing is impossible, and your faith in a benevolent God comforts you. That IS courage.