I had dinner with my four friends last night – this is my support group and my bonding group – the ones I play with, cry with, commiserate with, conspire with. There is so much grief and sorrow in our group lately. I left last night feeling depressed and at loss. One of our group, Jackie, shared with us the stress and worry over her son-in-law, who has gradually, slowly, and resolutely lost his vision over several years. He is only 40. They have tried everything, seen every doctor, done every test, tried injections and other mystery meds, trying to save his sight. But to no avail. It stresses the family – the children are suffering – in their early teens and watching their beloved Dad lose one of the five senses that is probably the most important. I cannot imagine this.
Then there is Kathy, whose Parkinson’s is getting worse and more pronounced. She plods along, literally one step at a time, moving forward and remaining positive. I bowl with her (and Jackie) and I notice more tremors. Her once really high bowling average is now 158 (but much higher than my 103). But she remains positive and proactive – paying special attention to any changes and in her monthly meetings with her specialist, informs him of the updates. He has told her that all his patients seem to know much more intimate details of their progressive decline than he does.
Then there is Sharon, whose Lupus has deteriorated in different ways – making her joints ache, causing her difficulty in breathing, causing her to tire much more easily.
And me – while I move on to a different way of receiving dialysis, which requires two large needles every time. I am dreading it – start on Monday.
Anyway – it just seemed like LOSS was the theme for the evening. We have all lost parts of ourselves, and the stress bleeds over to our friends and our family. Mechanic Man holds on – but inside he is brewing, angry at whatever is out there that makes people he loves have to go through processes to keep them alive.
It is hard sometimes to keep “up” when everything seems to be spiraling out of control.
And yet, at the end of dinner, after all the crying and laughing and sharing, we hugged each other close, even though we will see each other in a week. These are my sisters of my heart. We share, love, and empathize, feel each other’s pain.