Earlier this week, I called my mom to see how my dad’s appointment with the oncologist went. “Pretty well,” she said. “The doctor is pleased to see how well he’s holding up. He prescribed some medications to give your father more energy.”
This optimistically spun news went over like a lead balloon. I hate seeing my dad’s life regulated by pills, none of which will cure his liver cancer. I hate looking at photos taken of him six months ago, and realizing how sick he looks now. I hate spending holidays with him, wondering if it will be the last one.
The shock I felt when my dad was diagnosed almost five months ago has been replaced with sadness and “sucks-to-be-me” bitterness. There are days when I don’t have it in me to socialize, and just focus on completing the tasks that make up my day.
So if it wasn’t for the fact that I needed to talk to a member of my moms’ group about taking over my duties as the group’s newsletter editor, I wouldn’t have gone our monthly meeting last Friday. But soon I forgot my problems when I heard a talk given to us by a woman whom runs a food bank. She said the average age of a homeless person in the United States is 10 years old. She related stories about some of the moms she helps—moms whom have to choose between paying the rent and buying food.
Her stories reminded me that I’m not the only one out there with problems, and I shouldn’t take the blessings in my life for granted.
Driving home from the meeting, I made plans to clean out my pantry of extra food for the organization, as well as look into volunteering for the group. These actions may not take the sadness out of my life, but they assuage the bitterness.
5 days ago