Tuesday, February 6: Not the sort of day that one forgets on account of it being so ‘routine’ that it’s indistinguishable from most others. The day before, the decision was reached to not wait until the weekend to travel to Canada to be with my parents. I’d managed to notify all (or most) work related people… and then procrastinated from finalizing the packing process, so any hopes of getting an early start went far from being realized.
The AM hours were spent applying for Passports for the youngest 4 kids for future travel, and taking Txee to yet another CT scan to see what was going on with the cancer throughout her body. With all of the appointments and procedures I’d accompanied her to over the previous 2 years, you’d think that this would be a pretty standard event. But on this day, I felt rather uneasy. She had been experiencing worsening health, with increasing complaints of headaches and hip pain as well as a return of ulceration at the cancer’s site of origin. This caused significant worry with some of her kids, so the “normal” levels of volatility at home were enhanced, to say the least.
When the CT was completed and some random clothing items had been assembled together, it was with considerable relief that I faced the prospect of an open road and 17 hours of travel time ahead of me. I was too cheap to fly, but this gave me some time to put the stressors of home life behind me (or at least store them for later retrieval) so that I could steel myself for the new challenges of being a support for my mom and dad. It was also a time of a huge inner struggle that I don’t think I’ll ever have the ability to even attempt to explain.
The most re-played thoughts in my head on that trip were ones of irony: How is it that I, of all people, had the misfortune of having to leave one stressful living environment with a gravely ill person to go to ANOTHER stressful environment with another gravely ill person?! How does one justify robbing Peter to pay Paul, since I was needed in both places? And how do people cope with this sort of stuff, anyway?
I’ve long concluded that the ‘experts’ out there have no real solutions to offer, and there were no lightening bolt answers from above, either. But the solitude allowed me to prepare and conclude how I would attempt approach this and other similar challenging situations. It was a long drive, and even if no one else who knows me ever notices the difference, the person who arrived in Vancouver the next day is not the one who left Fresno.