Monday, December 10, 2012

Losing Mummy, Losing Me?

I had thought that I could 'rise above' and find my way through this disease and emerge triumphant at the end. I might yet do that, but what I realize is that along the way, there will be days, weeks, perhaps even months, when a triumphant end is not the obvious outcome of this quest. And make no mistake THIS is a quest.

The list of losses is fairly long. First and most obvious on that list is the career I had once dreamed of. I would be lying to say that I still want to work in HR, the career for which I had prepared. I've found transactional HR - applying laws and rules - to be beyond boring, and I haven't seen too many opportunities to do the kinds of transformational HR work that I'd like to do. So that 'loss' is perhaps, not really that much of a loss. But there is the loss of income. There is too, the loss of opportunity to be in the wrong place and find my way to the right place. All that, gone. The upside though is that maybe this pass I'm in is God's way of getting me off a path that would have made me very unhappy indeed and moving me to a place that will make me far more content? Let me just say that I sure hope that's where this is going!

The loss of career is fairly typical for the caregiver. If it becomes necessary to stay at home and deliver care, not only do you give up your job in the short term, but you ultimately may have to give up your career in the long. There is an inevitable atrophying of skills and a decline in the value that you could potentially bring to the work place (maybe not in your mind, but quite possibly in the minds of hiring managers). Moreover, in an age-focused culture like the US, if you leave the job market at say 42 and cannot return for a decade, when you do finally return you're 'old' and have stale skills to boot! Add to all that, the stark financial consequences to your income, your long term earning potential and, most dangerous and frightening of all to me, your retirement savings. In sum, it's a frightening picture. It certainly frightens me.............and yet.

It really is too much to think about. Some days it terrifies me what the future might hold. And yet, and yet, I remain convinced that I am here and prepared for just such a time as this. Even on days (like today), when I'm not feeling so upbeat as perhaps I'd like to, I trust and believe that the future that I cannot see is bright.

Losing Mummy, Losing Me? Mayhap not. Losing Mummy? Definitely, but the loss of self is not inevitable here. The 'me' that will emerge at the end will be different and I pray, triumphant. What will have been lost perhaps was just so much dead skin that I needed to exfoliate. I can only hope and pray. Let the scrubbing continue.

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