About the lemons rather than the lemonade   Leave a comment

The Facts of Life of a Hard-Working Beetle

I like to make lemonade and, in fact, have drunk literally gallons of it these last few days, combined with ginger and honey, in my efforts to heal a nasty case of bronchitis.  But it reminds me of the fundamental fact that I have been gifted with a lot of lemons.  I have a lot of lemons and there’s no way around that fact.  At the worst moment of my day, when I take my first step in the morning, I remember that it doesn’t matter what heroic things I may have done in all the previous years of my life.  All that matters is that I make a heroic effort NOW: Can I make it, groaning and crying, to the bathroom NOW?  That’s all there is.  And the outcome seems uncertain.  My life depends on an extremely wobbly lady, keeping many things requiring good judgment, good physical judgment, in mind while fire alarm bells are going off inside her head. If I make it, and so far I have, each time, I get to put in a ten-hour day of patient care.  I am the patient, but while my careworker is, officially, the worker, the one being paid, I’m definitely working alongside her all the time.  So, my realization for today is that, yes, I may be retired, I may be on disability, but each life stage has its work and this is my work.  Before it was something else but now it is being the patient.   I don’t empty the pee bag but I get it emptied; I don’t bandage my legs but I get them bandaged.  The work that is being done on my body is what’s happening.  I am working hard, long hours every day, because that’s what life requires of me in this phase.  Surprising work for me to be involved with as I have never been drawn to anything like nursing.  But here it is, here it is.  My friend, who had fallen on hard times, is applying for any job that could boost her income enough for her to survive.  Today she was looking into telemarketing.  Whatever we need in order to survive.

I feel so much like an organism, any organism, doing the things an organism has to do.  Making heroic efforts to walk to the bathroom to eliminate my wastes, spending most of the day trying to get the continually accumulating fluids moved out of my body.  Like any hard-working person, I look forward to the few hours left after satisfying the basic needs, to relax, which mostly means connecting with others.

The facts of life of a hard-working beetle.

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