Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Loss and fear. I have written pretty words and intriguing plays about it here in these pages. I have brought out my muse and showed her off. I have played at understanding loss. I have been acting out a play of my own, with fear and anger as the leading actors. I had no idea. The police have brought him home twice now. The first time did not bring fear as he was just trying to take a walk and talk to people in the middle of an afternoon. Of course no one could understand a word he said, so in their kindness and concern for him, they called the police. It did generate my next stage learning, however, that this event marked the very last time he could be left alone--at all--even for a few minutes. It also was a strong indicator that I needed to act on a care scenario that involved socialization for him. But last week the state police had to look for him---at 3:00am--with searchlights along the shores of Lake Michigan--in 30 degree weather. Now THAT is abject fear. He had gone to bed and when I joined him an hour later, he was gone. My mind simply could not grasp that he had walked out the door with me sitting in the room. I looked in every room and closet at least three times and under beds before I grabbed my coat fast and headed in the direction I could only guess he might go. My sister ran toward the lake and I jumped on my bike, and in the dark, went up the road. Around several bends in that road, I came upon a few people standing together. We live on the tip of a sparsely populated peninsula, so what are the odds that one of those people standing there, at that late hour, would be a state policeman? They all acknowledged they had seen someone, so all of us continued the search. The trooper asked me to ride with him in his car so I could handle the search light on the passenger side of his car while he used the one on his side. We went up driveways to the high parts of the dune so we could see most of the way to the water--nothing. I requested that we go further along the road, as my instinct about him was that he would keep going up that road. As we crawled along, using those big searchlights, the trooper, with his young eyes, spotted him. He had gone up one of those long driveways and was standing in the woods, up against a pine tree. He couldn't explain, of course, why he had gone out, although he had lots to say about his adventure....he thought it was a beautiful night and he had encountered amazing creatures to admire. I think he was sleepwalking, which is a common event for Lewy Body sufferers. Lately the Lord has been heavy handed with me in showing me his presence, and Lord knows, I need it. I would never have found him without the specific help I got that night. There was no moonlight available, and it was the kind of dark that matches the kind of quiet that you only get along these majestic shores. My instincts remain strong but both my eyesight and hearing are not what they used to be. I simply would not have found him, and he could not have found his way back. So once again, whoever you are--great spirit--thank you for the overt care in sending such an improbable gift in the middle of a terrible night for me. I know I don't deserve it, and I keep getting it anyway. Powerful lesson in that.
Entitlement. That's my problem. I guess I always figured I deserved happiness. That somehow good things would come to me and the horrors I saw others go through were, albeit awful, not going to happen to me. How do we become entitled to happiness? I suppose from magnificent good fortune. But all that good fortune sure doesn't prepare you for the reality, which sooner or later, bites us all in the ass. I simply can't stand the horror show we are living. I want desperately to be living with my daughter and her husband--who want me!--but it is becoming clearer by the day that I don't have that freedom. I am just sick that my grandson has grown his chubby thighs and extra round cheeks without my testifying to them. I saw a magazine in a doctor's office recently showing a young woman in flight--it looked as though she were diving off the bow of a great ship. The graceful arc of her body, the clear blues of the sea and the sky, the perfect whites of the few clouds above her all contributed to the sensation of freedom. I can't get that image from my mind. I want to be that girl. And he is miserable. Which breaks my heart. He doesn't know exactly what's wrong, but he senses it is somehow his fault and he definitely senses my despair. So I am miserable and despairing and guilty of making him feel bad about that. I am not flying gracefully off the bow of a beautiful yacht or watching my newest grandbaby thrive and grow. What or where in the world is the answer to that? I am in new and unknown territory, remember, as I am spoiled rotten by my former good fortune. I don't know what to do, but entitlement or not, feeling like this is awful.