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It is so frustrating. Youth, health, money, education, intelligence are all means of independence. But lack of any of the above, puts you at the mercy of others. In old age, or if your health is impaired, you depend on others for your basic physical needs. If you have no money, no education nor the intelligence to get either, you are at the mercy of the world at large.
When I am frustrated because I need someone to help me take care of my Mother, I try to put myself in her shoes, how much worse off she is, as she needs someone all the time to take care of her. The only consolation is that she is not always aware of that. Full awareness of one’s dependence can be very debilitating, thus adding to the dependence.
The nurse hired to take care of my Mother, goes off every two weeks, for two days. In these two days, my Mother is fully dependent on me, and me alone. During those two days I cannot call my soul my own from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. This is such a strain, that by the end of the nurse’s weekend I am totally drained.
It is not just the physical effort put in, it is the constant repetitions of either questions or statements that put me on edge. The lack of any kind of conversation that makes sense intensifies my isolation and the constant complaints about physical discomforts or pain, break my heart. By the end of the two day vacation I am a physical and emotional wreck.
The added pressure of taking care of business as usual, often drives me to the escapist trick of my internal imaginary life. This is so beautiful, full of love and laughter, beauty, music and everything that is fun, it is like an addictive drug. If I wasn’t so strongly anchored in my harsh reality, I could have taken flight and never come back again.
Another respite is friends. Be those in-the-flesh, or through Facebook, the feeling that I am not alone and that there is a supportive network, helps no end. The human touch of thought and care is an essential healing act.
Sanity is preserved by a balance between harsh reality and the loveliness of the imagination. If either predominates, I am either plunged into the deepest throes of misery, or am soaring in the seventh heaven of ecstasy. God give me the strength to keep this balance, and never deprive me of the blessing of loving, caring friends.

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