March 13, 2013

This Is My Path

Throughout your life you make choices and decisions that set you upon some path. Perhaps they are simple and straight, or complicated and winding. They all have ups and downs.

When I made the decision to marry Mark and build a life with him I knew it could get complicated. Inasmuch as you "know" these things before they happen. You can intellectually know something without ever really being prepared for it.

In fact, I believe it is near impossible to truly prepare for something. But don't we all think we can? We plan every detail of our wedding, only to have some unforeseen snaffoo occur. We concoct detailed birth plans when expecting our babies, but labor rarely goes how we think it will. You can make yourself to-do lists all day long, and still forget something.

You can have a husband with multiple health problems and think it only logical that you will outlive him, worry, fret and be filled with anxiety over it till your head is spinning....even mentally plan and prepare for when that day comes, and it will probably still blindside you.

I learned this particular lesson, and really took it to heart, when my friend passed away in 2007. Everyone knew her cancer had taken over and she was dying. Yet when I finally got the call, I couldn't believe it. These things just cannot be comprehended in an instant. That is why there is grief.

I am on a similar path as my friend's husband. Longer and more drawn out, but similar.

And now, I really need to get something off my chest.

How I handle my life, whether now or later? It's all mine. It's for me to figure out, for me to navigate.

It doesn't need to be anyone else's concern how I choose to handle the possibility of becoming a widow and single parent. There should be no judgments.

There is nothing my friends or family -- or any of you -- can do about Mark's health problems or what might happen. But what happens after is something people think they can help me with. They will still be here, know I will need some help and want me to feel empowered now rather than wait until it happens to try and figure whatever out.

But all that really is, is trying to control the situation. A circumstance that no one, not even me (or Mark), has any control over. Further, focusing on the end now robs me of today. I've said it before, I am trying to balance present reality with future possibility.

Quite honestly, the notion that someone else thinks they know better than I how to handle my life kind of offends me. It offends me that I may not be being given credit for probably thinking about the whole picture. Given credit for being a grown woman who has had many years of practice at taking care of things and feels she can continue to do it, on her own, when she has to.

This is MY path to walk. And I feel that those who have no idea what it's like to walk it, to be worried day in and day out that their spouse will die, can even remotely understand. Until your spouse is sick and you're faced with the idea of losing them, and your children losing their other parent, you can't know. You simply cannot know this struggle unless it happens to you.

I do not want to be told how I should walk my path. I do not want to be judged for how I walk it. Unless I ask for help or advice, I want it to be assumed that the things that are on your mind are most likely on my mind as well.

One thing I don't think anyone should be able to accuse me of, is burying my head in the sand.

I deserve to be respected for how I bear my burdens. I respect others in how they bear theirs. I would never presume to think I know what's best for someone (other than my children). I will not voice my opinion on another's personal matters unless they ask it of me.

I don't mind being asked, "Hey have you thought about...?" But to TELL me how you think I should handle something when I didn't ask for your's stepping over a line. And it doesn't feel good.

Companionship and compassion feel good. Hugs and smiles, and just love feel good.

I'm walking my life path the best I can. I may stumble. I may stop and smell the roses. I may sit awhile. I will keep walking it. Or running or skipping! The point is, it's mine to travel.

Enthusiastically linking up with Pour Your Heart Out!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely. 100%. You are and will be in control, now and later. And don't you ever feel bad about telling someone if they've stepped over a line.