Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's All Relative

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.

10 comments:

Quirky Mom said...

You know, you've stumbled onto some really effective therapy. There is actual research showing that doing good things makes you feel good. So clean out your pantry, and let go of a little of your grief.

Sending you some hugs.

Stimey said...

Hearing things about moms and kids like that make me so grateful for the things that I have. I'm glad it helped get your mind off of your dad. I'm really sorry about your dad. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to watch him be sick.

Kathleen W. said...

I'm not sure what to say about your post other than my thoughts are with you. I too have shitty days (not facing something like you are though), and more often than not, something happens during that day to make me realize how thankful I am for what I do have.

Kathleen said...

I am so glad the women inspired you, she was a great speaker and i really hope our group will pull together to help them out on a regular basis. Like you the thing i walked away with was thinking about the average age being 10, how stunned that made me feel and how lucky i felt. Thinking of you and your dad always, sometimes you just got to take it one day at a time.

Mama Zen said...

That's a beautiful approach to take to those perfectly normal feelings of bitterness.

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

I can't imagine how painful dealing with this must be. My dad is healthy now, but we had a skin cancer scare awhile back and if it was worse than that I would probably fall apart. Hang in there. (As lame as that may sound. I wish I could say something more eloquent and poignant.)

bernthis said...

We all have our problems to deal with and each matters to us and it's okay to feel the pain of it but sometimes, knowing there are others out there suffering in different ways is an amazing way to help us cope with whatever is going on in our lives. I'm so sorry about your dad.

the mama bird diaries said...

I'm so sorry about your dad. Yes, refocusing our energies definitely helps. But it's ok to feel your own pain too.

pixiemama said...

love.

Cookie said...

Wow. I didn't realize everything going on with your dad. Your a strong woman and it sounds like you've already found a way to help you deal with the emotions. My heart goes out to you and your family.