Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quiet house, quiet mind

It's been a long time since the house was this quiet and even longer since I've felt any sort of quiet in my head. H has been gone only a few days now, but the relief I feel is palpable.

When I returned from Europe last week, I experienced the opposite. As soon as the cab pulled up in our driveway, my back, neck, even my legs began their characteristic chronic aching. While I was gone I had a bit of soreness from walking so much, but nothing as systemic as what I experienced upon my return.

Once I saw H disappear down the jetway, those aches and pains mostly left me again.

While I always knew that my responsibilities for H weighed on me, I've never been aware enough to feel that weight come and go so suddenly. Such is the cost of caring for someone you love who is slipping into dementia and slowly leaving this planet before your very eyes.

Now, with H out of the house and a long horizon until his return, I can exhale and my body is actually relaxing. My deep tissue massage actually is deep now.

Aside from the obvious benefit of not having to provide care for H while he is gone, what is striking is the just how quiet the house is and how quiet I feel, along with the belated realization that my life is, in fact, all about me and what I need. The clarity is gentle readers know that this is obvious, but I have clearly lost much perspective in all of this.

And while I can make a consicous effort to sacrifice my time and energy to care for someone I love, I am enjoying this peace far too much to want him to return...ever.

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