Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ebb, Flow

The Dance II

Life is a strange thing, sometimes. We rise and fall, ebb and flow throughout it. We stress out over things that are completely pointless and shrug our shoulders and laugh off important things. We work so hard to control every aspect of it - some of us, anyway. Some of us act as if we have no control over anything, and we allow ourselves to be swept along with the tide.

I fall into the first category, generally. I am fairly sure I could stop the tide from turning if I applied myself. The world would stop turning if I didn't get up in the morning and start it going - you can thank me for that.

You're welcome.

I watched Joshua play a finals match in a tournament this weekend. He played beautifully, but he lost. He basically lost because of a double fault, and it just broke his heart. It broke mine, too. I sat in my chair, on top of a hill and two courts away from him, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I talked him through it, even though he couldn't hear me.

"C'mon, baby - stay with it. Good boy. Topspin. That's it. Aaaarrgh."

I was absolutely no help at all.

It made me realize how often I strive to control things and have just as little influence as I did over Joshua's tennis match. It made me realize how much undue stress I place on myself. It made me want to learn to let go a little.

But it is so hard to let go. So hard to give up. So difficult to lay it down.

My sweet, 92 year-old, grandmother.

My mom was here visiting this weekend. She needed to get away for a couple of days. Her mom, my dear grandmother, is almost 93 years old. She's far into dementia, her body is failing and it is nearly time for her to go. Her mind has been gone a long time, now, but her body just hasn't realized it's time to stop. My mom is the only daughter - she has two brothers that are younger than she is. Her time here, away from it all, was punctuated by telephone calls from both brothers. Calls from doctors, nurses, caregivers. She's trying to keep everyone informed, plugged in, advised. 

When she left, I told her to call her pastor. To keep communicating with her brothers. To give up some of the responsibility that she's carrying so that she doesn't get ill from the stress. To let go of some of the control. She knows. And I know how impossible that is.

My grandfather, almost 95, is still trying to control what happens - after 72 years of marriage, he's not sure how to let go and he's exhausted from the effort. My grandmother's doctor has called in Hospice to help care for her - to relieve some of the stresses that my sister, who is my grandmother's caregiver, faces.

To help everyone learn to let go.