Monday, February 20, 2017
There are different types of hard things.
Hard Things 1: Things like slogging through the aftermath of my bout with cancer as I dealt with the effects of that damn shot. (Last week marked five years, cancer free! Yay, me!) It was hard, the days were long, my brain was foggy, my heart and body were tired. The best I can say about it was I got through it.
Hard Things 2: Things like helping Juliann to deal with Maria's death a couple of weeks ago. I've been wanting to ride in on my white horse and rescue that child for years. (Not that she needed rescuing, she has grit and determination and smarts enough to rescue herself.)
But as Maria's liver gave up functioning, and the end she both feared and wished for came to claim her soul, I decided the time was now.
Juliann did a marvelous job of taking care of her mom during the last few years of her life, but it's a whole 'nother level of hard to clean up the pieces after someone dies. This is where I gave myself permission to ride on in. Hi, Ho, Silver!
I spent a week helping Juliann clean up.
One day, we went over to Maria's and picked up every piece of paper we could find in the place. I spent the next two evenings sorting through - working to find the car title, the outstanding bills, the stuff that needed to be dealt with. I threw out bag after bag of old checks and bank statements that no longer had relevance. I smiled as I went through a box of Juliann and Connor's old school papers. I set some personal papers aside to be read later, once the dust has settled and hearts have healed.
I helped pack up Maria's apartment. This to Goodwill, this to Juliann's garage to look through later, these things back to the people who had loaned it to her, this to the trash.
The day after the move, my sister-in-law and I went back and gave the place a thorough cleaning.
After we were done, when I went back to Juliann's and handed her the keys, I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but in a good way. Finally, I was able to make her life a little easier, a little better. Because I'd been able to lift a few of the burdens off her slim and tired shoulders, she had the energy she needed to make the decisions only she could make.
As I got back on my white horse to ride off into the sunset, I decided I couldn't have asked for better payment for helping with a week full of hard things.
Hi, Ho, Silver!