Essaying the Situation
Friday, June 02, 2006
No one would blame me...
...if, at some point, I folded and turned my mother's care over to a nursing home.
    Not my relatives.
    Nor my friends.
    Not her medical professionals.
    Certainly not the nursing home industry.
    Not the many organizations who purport to support caregivers.
    Nor the writers of caregiving newsletters and books and blogs.
    Not my community.
    Nor my state.
    Nor my nation.
    Probably not my world.
    My mother wouldn't even blame me.
    Nor would I.
    Except for my mother and me, I'd blame everyone who didn't blame me.
Gail, I think this is what separates the girls from the women (so to speak). Not just hearing the inner voice, but daring to listen to it, act upon it, not turn away from it. So much of the advice we're given--professional and otherwise--has more to do with the giver than the receiver. Our culture has some compulsive and obsessive values--we worship at the shrine of so-called human potential. I don't really know if there is such a thing--I think what matters is what we do right now. We're not entitled to understand everything, but we know when what we are doing is right, even though it often feels crappy and lonely and misguided. Right now you know your way and it's the hard way but you're taking it. You're entitled to change course but only when your own heart and conscience tell you to, not because some nervous onlookers urge you to. Well! That was my little soapbox. But I'm glad you shared the essay--it actually has the cadence of a prayer, a reverse-benediction!
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