I’m pretty handy. I know my way around a workshop, and I’ve done a lot of home upgrades and repairs. I enjoy spacing out at home improvement stores like some people do in shopping malls. So as you can imagine, it gives me a lot of satisfaction when I have the right tool for whatever task is at hand. I pride myself on having two well-stocked toolboxes: one is mechanical, one is emotional.
It’s been a challenging year, and I’ve put both through their paces.
In May, we experienced a devastating event in which we lost three of our beloved animals and a lot of possessions. We’ve worked very hard, both physically and emotionally, to get past that day. We still grieve for the lives lost, and we use the ‘things can be replaced, people cannot‘ mantra to remind ourselves that ‘stuff’ is just that.
As the holidays approach, we realize there were some precious possessions lost which cannot be replaced. And truthfully, my emotional toolbox is feeling a little light these days. I’ve had to temporarily shelve ‘we have each other, and that’s all that matters.’ It’s true, of course, but it dovetails too conveniently with the ‘what if I lose you?’ dialog. I’ve also permanently retired ‘things can be replaced, people cannot.’ We had a good run, and I certainly got my money back on that one.
I suppose I’m struggling with this now for two reasons. First, I’m going to see my mom later this week. ::squeals with delight:: It will be my first visit since my diagnosis. This has been the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing her, and it’s really sucked.
The other reason this comes to mind is courtesy of the holiday season. I haven’t responded to the first treatment yet. And now that I am weaning off the prednisone (again), I feel more symptomatic: my cough is slowly returning, I’m feeling ‘blah’ more often, and breathing isn’t getting easier. So, although it’s disgustingly dramatic and highly unlikely, the thought has crossed my mind that this Christmas could be my last.
But, alas, I can’t stand drama – even (especially?) my own. I need to get my sh*t together and remember this isn’t all about me. I’m really excited for Christmas. I’m super excited to spend time with my mom. That’s what I need to focus on right now.