Being present to the moment is hard work. I want to be. And yet for this self-confessed worrier it’s mighty challenging. I remember my mother telling me that I came by my ability to worry (very internally) honestly: she and her dad always appeared calm and yet would say, “calm on the outside, but going a million miles a minute inside”. Sounds about right. It’s not that my relatively relaxed exterior is a show. I’m not faking it. It’s just that there is more to me than that.
Lately I feel entirely mixed up. I’m quite certain that every health care professional I have met over the course of Dion’s hospitalization has been witness to me being an emotional wreck. Which I think I’m okay with, except I sometimes wish my face would leak less. This is proving to be a time worthy of the descriptor “emotional roller-coaster”.
The city has issued the permit for our home renovations. This means everything needs to be moved out of the basement so that we can demolish it, all preferably before the end of June. In the meantime Dion has moved to Bellwoods, a transitional facility in the west-end of the city. In some ways I feel relieved that there are finally time-lines for many of the things that need to get done. In other ways I am completely overwhelmed.
I want to share that our reality is very challenging right now (I know that likely comes as no surprise). Dion is trying to process many new things: completing his formal work days and going on long-term disability, moving to a different neighbourhood, adjusting to an increased level of care, and feeling homesick. I am trying to process all of this too, as is Cate. There are many unknowns, making the way forward less than clear. This is unchartered territory.
Many people have asked how to help. Please do not mistake my inability to succinctly answer that with an unwillingness to receive assistance. I feel like I do after experiencing the trauma of bereavement. When someone asks me if I want a coffee, I find myself responding, “I don’t know, do I want a coffee? If you put it in my hand, I’ll probably drink it”. Having said this, I am piecing together a list of what needs to be done over the next while and will be in touch about it soon.
Somehow in all of this, I can sense God’s presence. I am trying to do the things that are right in front of me to do, and trust that things will be worked out as they should. Even though it is difficult, I endeavour to return to the present moment, very often with the following prayer by Thomas Merton ringing in my ears and embedded in my heart:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”