Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yeah, it's just not fair

Life is such a mental exercise sometimes.

Yesterday morning as I was getting ready to leave to take my dad to dialysis, I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks, momentarily overwhelmed by what a seemingly constant struggle life has become.

I'm still trying to navigate my way through the muddy waters of childlessness (complete with new and dazzling special effects and stomach churning surprises at every turn), and at the same time I'm watching my dad slowly slip away, and desperately trying to cope with the grief that creeps into my weary head when I think of how little time I know he has left.

One of the older dialysis patients had his wife, daughter, granddaughter and two great-grandsons with him in the waiting room yesterday. The oldest boy, just big enough to be out of a stroller, was simply booming with little boy energy - something pretty foreign in a waiting room cluttered with wheelchairs, motor scooters, oxygen tanks, and tired patients.

I couldn't help but smile at them.

And then I couldn't help but feel empty as I watched the sweet scene unfold in front of me. My dad is easily as old as that great-great grandfather. I looked at their big, growing family, and I just felt so sad and defeated. And then, of course, guilty for not being able to give my family the extra light and life that two little boys - or even one little boy - can bring.

Light and life are markedly absent from our family right now.

I stared at the boys and their mom and her grandparents wondering what it must feel like to have so much pulsing, vibrant, loveliness surrounding you in such sad, desperate times. And I thought about how sweet it must be to live in a world where the proper order of things (with its tidy, A always follows B, reality) provides a measure of comfort and peace during difficult times. Old people get sick and die while babies are born, live, and nourish the family with fresh hope.

I couldn't take my eyes off the family. Watching them was an exquisite sort of agony, but I just couldn't look away. Mercifully, they left soon after their husband/father/grandfather/great-grandfather was called into dialysis.

And order returned to my world. Just me and my dad. No little boys trailing along behind to remind us that life does go on and that we will not be forgotten.

I've been trying, of late, to focus on my blessings - of which there are many - to keep myself from sinking into a self-pitying funk from which there is no return.

It works. Mostly.

But I'm still angry that this is my life right now. I'm angry that we're surviving more than we're living. I'm angry that joy has to be so hard won. I'm angry that my dad is suffering so much, and that we're all suffering the helpless agony of not being able to make him better.

It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair!!

But I know it's up to me to figure out a way to pry the good from all this and make my life about more than just the cumulative effects of its losses and sorrows and struggles.

I just hope I can muster the energy to do it. Again.


areyoukiddingme said...

On the one hand, I want to tell you never to assume that anyone's life does the A follows B and leads to C progression. We never know what hurdles anyone else faces.

But, that's not useful. It doesn't do anything for your pain and trials right now. I know you'll bear up, because that's what you do. I hope your dad is strong enough to last through the holidays - and since he's your father, I'm sure he'll find the inner strength.

It's not fair, and there's not really anything good to get out of this (other than knowing your own capabilities). You can worry about making your world about more than this when you're not dealing with the constant struggle. So, I think all you can do now is love your dad and bask in his love for as long as it's possible to have him here.

Illanare said...


Mrs. Spit said...

These are the dig deep moments, and the are so very hard. Hang on and get through as best you can. Tomorrow is another day. I keep holding on to that idea.

lady pumpkin said...

I'm glad you exclaimed some "it's not fair"s. Sometimes we're so busy trying to keep on keepin' on and put on a pretty face that we don't stop and look at our circumstances, and say: "hey, this sucks" when it does. Is that a useful exercise? I don't know. But I think that acknowledging that what's going on is difficult is worthwhile. For what that's worth. I want fullness of family and life for you. Take good care.

-lady pumpkin

loribeth said...

Nope, it's not fair. At all. :( This post reminds me of Christmas after Katie & my grandparents were gone. There was a moment when I realized that I had hoped to see the dining room table expanding (like so many other people's) -- & here it was shrinking. Not a great feeling. (((hugs)))

justine said...

This just plain sucks. I remember watching my own dad slip away, before we had our first, wondering if he'd ever get to see a grandchild (he didn't). But the one regret I have from that time is spending too much time on my anxieties/regrets, and not enough time being fully and completely with my father, as much as that was possible. I'm glad that you're spending time with your father now, especially during the holidays, which are hard enough without the added complication of loss. *hugs* ... thinking of you.

Rosepetal said...

Oh Kristin, it's really really not fair. Your Dad must have a lot of joy in having such a fantastic and loving daughter. You're obviously a very close family.

Pipsylou said...

Loss is like feel like you should be "done", and then it creeps up and hits you in these moments, leaving you feeling totally bare and alone...and *responsible* for what you don't have.

It has to be hard...I know it does. No words, just hugs.

the misfit said...

You're right, it's not fair. I'm so sorry.

(This is weird: your word verification is "cycle." Really.)

erica said...

It's not fair. It's brutally unfair and I wish it weren't.

Thinking of you and your dad.

Sherry said...

The unfairness of it all doesn't come close to accurately describing any of it. Not.Even.Close.

Hugs and love to you, as always.

Mali said...

I'm so sorry.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer and had a major operation when I was still getting treatment/surgeries for a complicated pregnancy loss. He died a couple of years later, when I was a couple of years into my new, childless-forever (as opposed to childless-until-pg if you know what I mean), lifestyle. It was hard. And it's not fair. But somehow, we get through it.