Changes

I’m better now, down from in the 9s too somewhere around 8, maybe even 7.8.

On one hand, that’s good.  It’s good to be able to think.

But, on the other hand, that’s a challenge.  It might be easy to just fall back into the same patterns, go into the same denial.

My mother told my sister that she thought my father’s surgery would be a new beginning.  It wasn’t, of course.

We all want some wonderful moment when everything changes for the better.  But all external forces can do is possibly facilitate change, and most often external change is something over which we don’t have real control.

Change is something we have to do ourself.

They often say that time changes things,
but actually you have to change them yourself.
Andy Warhol

And here, well, here, change isn’t something that happens.

My father won’t engage what is required to change his autonomic response to stress.  My mother won’t engage the testing and logging required to manage her diabetes.

“You have made tiny shifts in their quality of life,” my sister tells me, “but unless you keep pushing, they slip back.”  Yes, the quality of slipping towards the end, where change is just not worth the effort.

That tenet has been trained into me, that it will be over soon, so why change?  Unfortunately, I’m not dead yet, and that means my life has had a lot of wasted life.

They have never engaged the fact that they need care, no matter how much they have become accustomed to and dependent on that omnipresent care.  And if someone doesn’t acknowledge their needs, they can’t acknowledge the value of having those needs met.

Besides, honoring the gifts makes you accountable to the giver, which is why so many people just reject the gifts of the queer rather than assign any value to them, rather than assign any value to the giver.

And so I am faced with the dilemma.  Do I continue to deny myself to offer selfless service to my aging parents, or engage my broken hope to claim something for myself?

People who value me on a level more than someone who picks up urine soaked incontinence underwear tell me that I need to offer something bigger, something bolder, something that might move the world a little more, and something of which I can be proud.

But, of course, whatever they think, my parents really do need me.  It is a mission to which I have committed.

Buddhists might tell me to take a middle path, but most of their middle paths require extremes.

Is it enough to have a breakdown without having a breakthrough?  Or is change required?

And if change, what change?

Isn’t it just too late?

Or is that just my parents talking?

Maybe play is required.