Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Helpers

I suppose I don't understand Oakley's cooking therapy because I don't actually like to do anything involving the kitchen. Even opening the fridge seems like a bit of work to me--never know what you'll find in there... though even though I do the grocery shopping I open the door hoping for, well, more.

My mom and dad are getting home from their European vacation today. Thank God! I want my mommy!

I try not to use the latter phrase in front of Justin (or Oakley), but it's true. I want my mommy. At my aunt's funeral her 40 or 50-something son admitted to feeling that way still when he got sick, remembering how she used to take care of him and even though he was married (again) still yearning for his mother's comforting touch.

Fortunately, through hours of therapy, I have rethought my expectations and lowered them significantly. Sure, seeing her will probably bring the same reaction it brought twice when Justin was in the hospital (the month after we got married, when he almost died from an amputation-related bone infection) and she came to San Diego to help me with the sudden situations (ER & MRI moments, specifically.) I held it together until she arrived, and then on first sight I burst into tears.

But I know Mommy isn't going to really be able to do much with this one. Sure, the help with maybe some packing up of stuff and with preparing for the wake will be useful, but I am no longer such a fool as to believe she will make all the hurting go away. Not that it's her fault--it's apparently not really possible, but there are no right words to say; there is no way for anyone to truly understand my perspective or all that has happened since I met Justin and then his family. Also, no one can truly understand how another person feels about anything, so family, friends and therapists are just little release valves for the pressured heart.

I keep thinking of the directions given to passengers to follow in an airplane if the oxygen masks deploy--you have to put your own mask on before you can help anyone else. Even then you're still pretty much limited to the range of the mask's tether of tubes--you can't help others very much at all. All you can really do is try to keep on breathing.

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