Sunday, January 29, 2012

Running Away From Home

Call me crazy, but this week I am going to leave the persistently sunny, 70 degree southern Arizona winter to go where winter got its name! When last I checked, there are no mid-west blizzards expected in Chicago at this time, but in the few hours of flight time the temperature will descend about 50 degrees. Why would I risk leaving warmth and well-being behind? Oh, for so many reasons. Here are two of them: Claire and Jonah, son Scott's beautiful twins are now 14 months old, and I haven't seen them since they were red and wrinkled newborns!

Scott is a stay-at-home Dad who cares for them during the day while his beautiful wife, JoAnn, goes to her job. It is a plan that they have made work beautifully. Scott keeps me up-to-date on Facebook, as some of my faithful readers know, with photos and videos that are so vital to my mental health! I will only be there for five days, way too short from my perspective, but decidedly better than nothing.

Tom's sister, another Nancy, will be coming to stay with him while I'm gone. He's a little anxious about the change in his routine, bringing me many questions each day. But I know they will get along fine, so I am working on my own anxiety level! I am reflecting on the positive benefits for Tom to spend time with his sister, and for her to see the reality of who he is now. That is important.

Anyone who has ever had the sole care of a spouse or parent (or child, for that matter) knows the extraordinary level of emotion and conflicted feelings that go with the territory. As much as I adore this man and grieve for the losses we have experienced, I know that a brief separation from time to time will only serve to enhance the level of care I provide him. My days increasingly include trying to find ways to give him a higher quality of life, and frustration at the few ways there are left to us. I am, for him, the answer to everything he needs or wants. That's a lot of expectation to live with. So I will joyfully 'run away from home' for a few days and come back filled with tender and happy memories of playing Grandma to the hilt! I hope to inhale those babies and fill my lungs and heart with their smiles and giggles. What could be more therapeutic?

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