I will start by saying I feel like I’m failing miserably. Deep down I know I’m not and I’m doing the best I can. I have learned more in the past few months about myself then I have in decades, but I still have the feeling of falling short.
When my mother in law came to stay with us we had no idea what that would end up being like or how long it would end up being. It has been so rewarding and incredibly difficult. Here is the thing that I’ve learned this week. While I say I’ve learned it I am only acknowledging it exists I am not saying I’ve learned it to the extent I am doing anything about it but I’m trying.
There are felt needs and obvious needs. Eileen and I see the importance of these in very different ways. I feel her taking care of her health is the top priority. She feels looking better on the outside is. I think her doing her exercises and building her strength to be able to walk and move about without hurting herself more is important, but she prefers a less “painful” approach by watching tv. She prefers pills over personal effort. I prefer movement and self-awareness.
As far as she’s been concerned, she has lived her life being a very healthy person. Once I made her go to a doctor for the first time in 35 yrs and get her first ever mammogram, that is when she became ill. Not knowing about the cancer or the many issues some of which she is now on medication for were better kept unknown.
It is not my life and not my choice how she lives it. If she didn’t know about the cancer and it spread and took her life, would she have lived the rest of her life happily oblivious to what was happening inside her? Is the price of awareness for whatever extension of life she has gotten too high?
It is incredibly difficult for me to sit by and let someone make choices that I fully believe with all my heart are the wrong choices. And there it is. Choice. They are not my choices to make. I can offer what I know and feel and it is up to her to do what is right for her. Her “felt needs” and my “obvious needs” can find a way to fit in the same space but getting there has been a challenge. I’m still learning.