I firmly believe you should never pass up an opportunity to help someone out. There have been many times in my life I have helped out a stranger who soon became a friend. There have been many times I have been helped by strangers who then became friends. After all, why would anyone try to be friends with a person who walks by them in a time of need?
I hate that I barely have time for me, much less catching up with good friends. I hate that it has been so long since I have talked to many of my friends that I have no idea if the number I have saved is current or even in the right state. I hate even more that I can't be certain which state many of my friends are even in. But I guess that is why reunions are a big deal and a few brave souls with time and effort - spend the time and effort trying to regroup old friends like stray kittens.
The other day I got a call from a classmate of Phillip's- she is taking courses in holistic medicine and needs patients to practice on. In a normal Mallory universe- I would have jumped at the opportunity- I believe there are many benefits that our "traditional" medical establishments miss due to the overwhelming capitalistic nature of the pharmaceutical arena and forces that drive healthcare in our nation. I felt great sadness that I had to decline the opportunity to help or be helped because I just don't have the hour to spare. That is to say- if I have an hour to spare I am choosing not to spend it focused on any sort of health care- because far too much of my day to day time is held hostage by that very subject. And part of me wonders if I just passed on an opportunity to help a new friend and it makes me sad. So I took an hour out of the past 3 days to call an old friend just to say hi. I have to say, it felt better.
I feel horrible that through the past few years turns of events in the healthcare of my children that I have to spend all my spare time fighting with and for them that I can no longer contribute to the many friends, causes, friends causes and day to day gatherings that were an instrumental part of my past. It is my job, my directive and my priority as a parent to fight for my children- but I deeply mourn the opportunities at friendship, partnership and community that we miss out on because the fight for them is so time consuming.
I hate that instead of making and taking a meal to a friend in need- I have become that friend in need. I hate that simple gatherings become a huge source of stress. I worry about the roid rage ups and downs of Lily and the blood glucose ups and downs of Phillip. I worry that simple owies and illnesses always brought about by these gatherings will become hospital stays, or worse. I worry that Kiera is slipping further away and hate that she wants to be anywhere but with us and alternately grateful that she does. I worry that all that Bella knows is a life of being surrounded by sickness and she will spend her life sick or trying to be sick to get the attention she deserves. I worry that I worry too much. It sure as hell isn't for lack of inspiration.
I hate that my husband rarely asks me to do anything, as he is the one person who knows exactly where I am coming from. Yet this morning he gently reminds me it is drill weekend, a reminder that we have 2 more days without a break. A break that will not come after those 2 days because the air conditioning in the van needs to be fixed, the house needs to be cleaned, bills need to be paid and paperwork needs to be mailed. He also gently asks, if I could find the energy to maybe come to a readiness briefing and potluck at work on Saturday. Readiness for what? I ask sarcastically. Disaster? Deployment? Do I really want to sit for an hour(yes) and listen to someone tell me how to prepare myself and and family to handle impending doom(No)without my partner? Because what will end up happening is I will spend an hour being mortified that Lily will announce loudly every time she or anyone else farts and then Bella will giggle hysterically and I will have to remind them to be quiet. Phillip will be annoyed that we all exist and between being alternately moody and goofy will have to be reminded to keep his hands to himself. Kiera will ask me every 3 minutes if it's over yet and if any of her friends will be here. Every 5 minutes someone will have to go to the bathroom. Despite having just gone in the last 5 minutes. I will wonder if it is worse to get up and go to the bathroom again or call the little cretin's bluff and lose.I will silently know that I have faced impending doom and the only way to handle it is to face it and deal. Phil watches me as I go over the scenarios in my head, with an apologetic grin, it's just that we haven't been to anything in awhile and I think people are beginning to wonder...
Wonder what? If I'm holding up? If I can carry on like nothing is wrong? Are they wondering if we can survive this latest hit? Do they wonder if we are part of the team? I never faulted working moms for not participating in squadron events. Many did. I don't always want to deal with mommy stuff after dealing with a day of mommy stuff- I know that dealing with mommy stuff after a day of work can be equally overwhelming. I wonder if we are the family that makes other families feel better that they are not us. I wonder if I have the energy to smile and be nice. They say it takes more energy to be mean- that's really not true- it takes the same amount of energy the difficult part is the choice.
Phil looks me in the eye- I just think people are wondering if you are still...alive. That I am. And so are the 4 monkeys. No small feat. So I guess it's time to get out there and live, even if it's just to show people that you are in fact still alive.