I start my vacation on Monday and as usual, I am analyzing this to the last nucleotide…it’s my way. I am anticipating this vacation as if I were back in 3rd grade at the school year’s end. It made me think. Why was I so excited for the upcoming 2 weeks? I’ve had vacation before. Over 30 years’ worth of vacations from work but this one harkens back to childhood for enthusiastic anticipation.
The truth is painful. Truth usually is. The truth, the bare bones honesty? This will be the first vacation in over 5 years that will not be fraught with worry. Vacation came, over the past half-decade, and we would go away, usually camping. The time was shadowed by worry for my parents. My father was very ill; he had leukemia and blood transfusions were causing him illness. His organs were suffering. He was in constant pain. Then Daddy passed away and Mom was alone. She grieved and she grieved heavily. She was also unwell. COPD, blood issues and she was unstable on her feet, prone to bouts of unexpected dizziness. The house was too big and too dangerous for her. She came to live with us and I worried. I worried when I was at work. I worried when I went shopping and when vacation came around, we stayed home. Except for last year, Mom went to visit her brother in another city and we went camping. I worried. She was in good hands but I worried none the less.
That’s the ticket. I have no one to worry over this year. It is a harsh, life reality. My parents are gone. They aren’t coming back and are now beyond worry. What a horrible thing – to be relieved that there is no more of this kind of all-encompassing worry. It is frank honesty and an honesty with which I am not, at all, comfortable.
I’ll find myself thinking something is wrong and when I look within? I realize, that the gut pinching nervous-worry thing is gone. This is what it feels like to be relaxed. Mom knew, all along. She kept telling me to stop worrying, even if we were just watching television together. She would tell me to stop worrying about her. I didn’t see it or feel it but it was there. I guess it showed.
I find myself going for a walk with the dog and not constantly running over medications in my mind or ways to ensure medications were taken. I am not running over the design of the house, wondering how to make it safer. I am not running through the week and reviewing doctors’ appointments, blood tests and hospital visits in my mind. I’m not wondering how to find nutritious and appealing foods. I’m not worried about absentmindedness and pots on the burner. Future potentials of constant medical care.
And it is all a bit too much, this lack of worry. I would give up this relaxed state of mind, for all the worry, if I could have them back. Oh, I’ll work this all out. I’ll deal with the grief, the loss and this strange sense of relaxation. It has only been 2 ½ months since Mom passed away. It will be assimilated into life experience. The pain will ease and I’ll be able to accept the lack of over-active brain function but it’s tough going for now.
How bizarre is this! To question not being anxious. To analyze relaxation? I can see Mom’s face now, shaking her head and rolling her eyes at me. I’ll get it, Mom. I will. It will just take me a bit of time.