The new year grabbed me in a choke hold and hog-tied me before I had a chance to even think about what it might bring. It started with a text that my mother was in hospital, followed by a harried searching of flights and anxious speculating about how I’ll get home. Me, who hasn’t ventured anywhere without an escort for over four years.
Needless to say, I made it, and even though my symptoms are flaring and I’m exhausted, I am also pleased by what this effort portends. Dare I hope for an even greater return to life?
It’s been four-and-a-half years since I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – the disease that severely disrupted my life. In almost imperceptible graduations, I have improved. This recent shake up seems to have pushed me over a line from which I can redefine myself (unless a setback is triggered, which is always a concern.)
Mom has rallied around and is currently stable. The woman is incredible. Although she says she no longer wants to live with constant pain and struggles, she keeps going – insisting on walking me to the elevator after my visits and taking her meals in the dining room.
“At least I know you love me,” she pats my arm. “No need to come back again should something happen.”
She’s more worried about me being inconvenienced than she is about her own health. Ever the mother.
I have no regrets about coming, and as cliché as it sounds, I feel as if this happened for a reason. I needed something to break me out of my comfort level and stir me up.
“It’s like I’ve been living in a bubble,” I tried to explain to Mom. “No noise, constant rest, limited interaction, and measured outings.”
“It’s not right, at your age,” was her response. “You’re young yet.”
It’s not how I ever saw my life going, for sure, always so active and involved. I wonder now if I’ll ever get some of that back.
2019 has accosted me and thrown me 1600 miles off-base, but I also have a sense that this is what I have needed to break up the waxy build up that has been molding me into an ugly complacency.
I am sixty, and if my mother’s legacy is anything to go by, I still have thirty years left of life. Time to start setting a vision for myself, I’d say.