I think that the worst part of being in these facilities is that people look at me like I’m just this illness. They don’t see me.  There is something about that that triggers my own sense of “lack of.” I think if I could know who I am, even here there would be evolvement. I guess I could explore what that is in them, because I surely have that in me. It comes from fear, deep primal fear. And a lifetime of grief. I imagine that the level of grief these people come in contact with on a minute to minute basis is so profound. The only way to survive is to shut down, and narrow your field. Not feeling and not seeing becomes the norm. People are desperate for family members to come SEE them.

Yesterday Jordan and Casey and family came to visit. We handled what was easier to be with. Being with River was the easiest. I hadn’t seen Kumar in a while, so visiting and connecting was priority. We went outside near the gazebo under the unusual deeply blue sky of northeastern Pennsylvania. Later in privacy we shared more details of the will, etc. Never did I touch into the deep level of grief in my heart that this could be the last time that I might see them. Does it sound overly dramatic? Not really when you consider my circumstances. Never did I think about sitting with them in the grief, with the grief, together. I am so used to being strong, looking at the bigger picture, that I tend to forget the little picture. Little is just an adjective. Little does not minimize a whole lifetime of making a family together, stumbling through inadequacies, finding mutual triumphs, and thriving despite the seemingly overwhelming challenges with which life presents us. Today I will sit with them and Be.

Sitting in my room, I am assaulted by chemicals from all directions. The air quality in this building is deplorable. What are people thinking? On this floor there are 58 patients/residents. And there are multiple floors in this building. It is not just skilled nursing, it is a nursing home. And what was my biggest fear? Anybody who knows me knows that my biggest fear was being stuck in a nursing home. There is humor in the universe if we are willing to see it. 8 more days and I’ll be able to leave. Will I be greater than I was when I entered? At this point there is still uncertainty whether I will really leave. The doctor assured me that on the 16th after she returns from Italy with her family she will discharge me. What will I feel like then? Will I be able to fly yet?

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