In a very dark corner of my mind lives this concern. It jumps to the forefront on my mind on plenty of weekends because of the additional people surrounding me. During the week, they are in school and have different lives. But come Friday night a completely differing set of fears enter.
When the doctor’s gave me that lovely time frame of less than a year I sat down and asked how people felt about my being at home rather than in some hospital or hospice situation. There will be time enough for that later, even now there are pop-up overnight stays! We are all scared of those final moments and to a person want to delay these conversations.
They linger for longer than the words spoken. The emotions that go with being friends or family, however we are describing ourselves that day, run very deep. For years it was my spot to mow the lawn or fix some broken shelf. The tables turned and now they do their best to stem the flow of time.
The worst thing that could happen is that at some point my niece walks in with a smile on her face and some great event in her life she wants to share. Only she finds me not able to reply. She’ll sit quietly wondering if I’m just in that deep a sleep, but something will make her try to wake me in some manner. And it won’t work.
In my fears of not being able to protect people, which is my biggest problem no matter the situation, failing to protect that situation from happening worries me the most. It isn’t the worst thing imaginable, I’ve already faced that with my daughter, truly horrible stuff. But later, when we are going to sit down and watch The Martian, I’d like to just laugh with them rather than wonder if only my “spirit” will still be in the room.
At the same time the best thing that could happen to me happens every Saturday afternoon. Five people sitting in a room, sometimes there is an additional teenager or two running around; but mainly this core five. We’ll SKYPE my nephew so he can put on his weekly review of his 7 year old’s perspective. Play a game or watch a movie, just simple stuff. For a few hours life is about as normal as Mayberry.
By dinner time I’m usually needing some rest. So while people cook, actually cook food, I’ll take a snooze and hope that the best part of my day doesn’t become the worst part of theirs.