Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thoughts from A Week

I have been ruminating on what to write about this whole experience. It has been quite a week. One that will go down in the memory banks as one I will likely not forget. So many things learned from the week that has passed into the past.

:: I have learned what it means to be a caregiver. For those of you that work in medicine, this is a word that holds much meaning. When a person needs help, we look to their caregivers. We ask them to be the help. We ask them to be the other. The non-medical person that will be there for the patient. In my case, I was always the one to teach the caregiver about how/what/when/where to do things. How to move the patient. How to help. How to be what they had never been asked to be before. Someday I might write the full import of what this week was for me. For now, I will say I have learned something from the other side of the fence.

What does it mean to be a caregiver? To take care of someone that you never quite expected to not be well. To see the one you know, in front of you, needing something you have never needed to give before. I am humbled by the experience. Saddened at times by my reaction, my need to not be that. Understanding much better than ever before what the true import of the word means. Happy to have come through this a little bit more aware of what it is exactly that I have asked of the people in my past work, what I just assumed they should be able to give.

:: I have reacquainted with my niece. She, of the 11 month old wadddling gait.
My Hearts

Of the pre-verbal, not always sure, brink of toddlerhood being. She of the baby girl thighs of squishy joy. She now knows and loves me again. It is never enough when part of your family lives 12 hours away. When your true sister-hood lives too far to find daily, but I will take it. The bonding of cousins, twin boys watching "baby" because their new vocal cords cannot quite say "Kayda"; watching, holding, helping, sharing. Mason asking for 'baby' when he wakes, the boys watching her nap on my brother's couch, fascinated by her sleeping. The perfect culmination to the bonding, Sunday night bath, Owen washing her hair, Mason warily but willingly sharing his bubbles. Moments they will remember in their future connections, laying foundations. They felt her fascination with them, had their own.

And I had time to strengthen my bond with a sister, now mothers, never enough but always just what we need.

:: Spring morning storm, blowing in cold and grey. Waking after a too sleepless night, not their fault, only my own. Out for the first time this week, together with the boys, an excellent dinner party. Then home and in the front yard for a minute, watching the clear blue post storm sky, feeling the cleaned breeze, whipping the leaves so fresh, hummingbirds screeching their territory, spring blooms bright after the wash,

seeing my seed flats pushing forward first sprouts. Feeling right for the first time in days, not afraid anymore.

:: Hiking, slowly and not far, but outside, greeting the day with dirt and smiles.
In a Rut

Resolving ::

- First, my sister and I decided to write out our birth stories and send them to each other, do what we will with them. Frame them, write them longhand, paint them, but our gift for each other in this thing called Mamahood as she finishes her first and I, my second.

- A second go at a picture a day leading up to the boys' second birthday. A long standing tradition maybe, for me, for them. To be started on Thursday (I think).

- Finishing a dress for Easter. A big party to be at, Kayda's first birthday, their first Ester Egg hunt, my first dress. It will all work out, right?

Like I said, maybe someday I will figure out what to write about this week. It is a odd thing to find yourself on the side of then fence you never wanted to be on. Terrifying actually. But that always can make one stronger in the end.


LauraC said...

I always feel so lucky to be able to read the way you put difficult concepts and emotions into words.

When we were in Chicago, Jon had two bulging discs that got worse and worse over the course of a year. At the end, he was in bed in pain 23 hours a day and I took care of him full-time while also working my job. One evening he was in the bathroom crying because he was in too much pain to cut his toenails. They were wicked long and really gross!

The moment I started to cut his toenails, I knew I would do anything for this man. And I knew I would give anything to get rid of his pain. Twins and Jon's back problems are the two events that have changed our lives more than anything else. (He had surgery but still has to have a standing workstation and has certain limitations.)

Fortunately Jon's rehab practice included therapy for the caregivers and I could openly talk about my resentment, anger, and frustration at the experience without feeling guilty. And when I was on bedrest, it helped Jon to be able to talk about his frustrations at taking care of me full-time.

Hope everyone gets better in your house soon.

MJ said...

Your niece is sweet. Are those regular legwarmers pulled up on her legs, or are they baby legwarmers?

Whatever happens, just remember that those things will pass. Hope things will get better, Aimee!

Just. Breathe.

Pixiepurls said...

I can only guess you refer to your family's recent healthy issues. About 7 months ago when BG was not even 1, my husband had to have his gallbladder removed. We had no family here, no one to help in any way shape or form. I hate to take BG to the outpatient center, leave my husband and cmoe pick him up once he was awake. It was this awful feeling of having to constantly be pulled away from one or the other. Who do I help, who do I care for, my child or my husband? I hate it. I wanted to give my all to both of them but I could not. I couldn't do for him like I wanted to, so mostly I left him in bed (and he's not a good healer) and came by to check on him and make sure he drank water, but until BG went to bed there was very little I could do for him, going in there with her she would have a fit she could not sit on him, and at that time when I left her in a room alone she would get very upset and freak out. It was awful, but it has passed thankfully and we made it through. I'll always feel bad I couldn't do as much for him as I wanted too.

Lola and Ava said...

My usual reaction to Dave or the girls being sick is, "Can't you do this somewhere else?" because I know that they are usually fine (nothing major besides the flu). However, if anything would happen, I think we all do what we have to as part of our lives and loves. Hope all is on its way to being well in your house.

The boys and your niece? How cute! They look like they are having tons-o-fun. Glad you enjoyed catching up with your sister. It kills me to be so far away from mine.

annie said...

A beautiful picture of the waddling gait and your son being so grown up, acting so cool. Hope you're good and not too many sleepless nights...we have winter again! Enjoy the spring xx

Preeti said...

The gifts of memories so tender that you and your sister are going to exchange is perhaps one of the sweetest I have heard of in a long while. Cherish and heal.