About an hour south, I stopped to clear my head. Warren Dunes State Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan. Not looking forward to that traffic running into Chicago. No easy way around it. A quiet day at the beach, not too many people around. Some are climbing the dune and someone is laying in a hammock on top the hill. Kids playing in the water. A group of people in the parking lot; I imagine a family reunion, cooking tacos at the beach, some of them sitting cross legged in the sand eating and others lined up by a trailer getting their food. The water, sea green and shades of blue, meets with grey clouds on the horizon. I park beside a gnarly old tree, alone on a sand hill, its roots exposed by the wind, I think that it looks like the tree of life and take its picture.
Walking along the shore, I’m thinking .. alone with my thoughts and gentle swoosh of water rushing to shore. This is supposed to be the place .. it’s beautiful here .. anywhere that you want to go ..woods, rivers, beaches .. I love it. I do. I’ve just been feeling so out of touch.
Cancer is a horrendous thing. The treatment is a horrendous thing. It is incredibly difficult to watch someone you love go through that. It is very hard to be the caregiver. It is a very very life changing thing; I haven’t been right since and nothing is the same. .
Lost my Mom and two brother in laws a year ago. Numerous friends have gone. My best friend 4 years ago. I’ve been the caregiver; stopping between houses to cry, putting visine in my eyes before I go in. My brother caught me crying in the garage.
Death and dying all around me.
After Mom’s death, as the executor of her estate, I had to make decisions that alienated my siblings. Not the first time for that! Just the same ..
My friend Sandi offered me a room .. an escape.
I think about the expense; this trip is certainly not conducive to future goals and I can’t afford to do this. Think about the muggers, rapers, killers who prey on a woman alone. You just have to be careful, aware of your surroundings. If you pull off the road and something looks shady, don’t get out of the car – just go on down the road. Stay alert. Stop when you are tired. Get off the road before dark. Keep gas in the tank and air in the tires. I made arrangements to manage the business while I’m gone. Made arrangements for the mail. Wrote my will and living will before I left. Brought my laptop along so that I can work. Check check check.
I haven’t been away from home – haven’t been anywhere in 40 years -without him. He goes, for months at a time, but I haven’t been. My “vacation” was having the place to my self, having time with my self, with my kid, my grandkids, taking care of the business, and working at the job .. working .. working .. busy busy life that I’ve led.
Three years we’ve been fighting the cancer. Not sure that he will be okay without me. He is still suffering the effects of chemo and radiation. Not the same man that he used to be. His brain doesn’t work right. Feeling like I’ve abandoned him.
Then I think about my cat. My loyal scraggly feral cat.
Life has been way crazy. Feel like it is falling away from me; off the cliff or into a crevice, no way to get it back. Planning the future with no control of the present and the money all gone. Damn the constant depression.
With toes in the water I say a little prayer, ask God to lead me where he wants me to go, show me what I need to see, be with me, stay with me, keep me safe.