I used to think certain things were my most precious commodities. Like my doll collection, handed down from my great-grandma, to grandma, to mom, then to me. But ex-hubby destroyed that when he left me for another woman. It was his way of retaliating when I wrecked his girlfriend's brand new corvette. He systematically went thru the house and destroyed anything personal or precious to me. So, I got over being attached to material things.
As I matured I realized that people are what is most precious. I've let friendships lapse, it was easy to do when I moved and got busy. Recently I've gone back, looked up old friends, renewed our friendships. It has been strange. Though I hadn't talked to some of these people in maybe 10 years, once I called and got over the inital ackwardness, it seemed as if we had never stopped talking. Now these precious friends are people I call at least once a month. They are my new/old support group. It has been wonderful realizing that the very people I counted on as a young woman and young mother are STILL here for me today.
Recently, as in the past two and a half years, what I cherish and miss ALOT is time. TIME to be alone. TIME for myself, with no one needing me for anything. I've lost this commodity. My time belongs to others. I am TRYING to carve out a time just for me. Even a few hours. So far it has not been working. I have people I take care of. Medically, physically, emotionally. But I NEED TIME to renew myself. To take care of ME.
Last week I had a long talk with David, my husband. We are trying to figure out how to lessen the burden I have in caring for him. So far, we haven't figured it out, but we are at least discussing possibilites. He is in a wheelchair. He is very weak, as in too weak to transfer himself, too weak to lift his one good arm high enough to even make a sandwich or dress himself. I literally do everything for him, including bathe him and wipe his butt. He can only be left alone for very short periods of TIME and has to be in bed when I leave him alone. This is so he can urinate on his own, using the hand held urinal. He can't urinate any more from his wheelchair alone, he hasn't the strength to move himself in the way he has to in order to pee. But he is petrified to be left alone on the bed if there is no one in the house, as he has a huge phobia about fire. He is afraid of being trapped on the bed should there be an emergency. I can understand this as there is no way he can get up on his own. I use a hoyer lift to transfer him from the bed to his wheelchair as it is. Due to his many medical problems, we also have numerous doctor visits in a week. I have to go with him to all of these as he can't use the toilet without help. So, this dependence of his is something that makes my TIME not my own.
Then there is my grand daughter, U'iLani. She is in kindergarten. She and my daughter Rachel live with us. Rachel works long hours. She leaves our house at 6:30am, often getting home late. U'iLani has a full schedule of activities. Arts and crafts, swimming lessons, karate class, plus daily homework. Yes, even in kindergarten they have daily homework. Rachel is gone for most of these activities so David and I take her. We enjoy it but it is something that tends to restrict our already full schedule. We work around her activities for the most part. I walk her to and from school each morning and we walk to all her activities. Luckily the farthest one is only one mile away, so this is good exercise but is of course, TIME consuming.
Ok, I could take some TIME for myself in the evenings, when Rachel is home. But after a full day of doing all that I do, I am tired. I don't want to leave the house. But if I am at home, I am not going to be able to do anything by myself. Our house is tiny. There is nowhere I can be alone unless Rachel and U'i are in bed. If they are in bed, I can have the living room to myself, hoping, hoping that David will not need me for something. It is sad when he calls me....."Sweets, can you come here". Just hearing "Sweets", makes me cringe. It means I have to DO something. This sounds harsh. But it is true. There is no more sex. There is only CARE giving. There is no more giving to me....there is only me DOING for him. It exhausts me. He is going to be 67 this December. I am 52. But I live the life of an invalid. We don't qualify for respite. But I NEED respite. Ok, enough griping. Cherish the TIME you have, because one day, you too might need TIME and it just might not be there for you.