January 2, 2024
People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them. ~ George Bernard Shaw
It’s dawning on me that caring for dependent beings could derail my (admittedly wishy-washy) commitment to hip replacement surgery. I know I need to take elder care into account when planning anything. But now, my responsibilities have expanded to caring for a diabetic cat.
At this moment, I’m leery of handing Brownie over to a stranger for twice-daily insulin injections, even for the few days immediately after my (potential) surgery. It’s unlikely he would eat adequate food when it’s insulin time, then hop onto the stranger’s lap to cooperatively receive the jab, as he’s been doing for me.
Surgery is still a couple months away, and my fondest hope is that Brownie will be in remission by then, and won’t need insulin. The God of What If’s smiles benignly and shrugs. You just never know what will happen, dear human. Plan all you want, but try not to be too shocked if I send you a surprise or two.
I imagine many people would not hesitate to ask others to take care of the responsibilities I clutch to me so tightly. Surely no permanent damage would be done if the mentally and physically fragile elder is moved to a care home for a short time, or the cat is subjected to insulin administration from a stranger. Isn’t seeing to my own well-being as important as their temporary discomfort?
How do I get completely clear about the best course of action? Do I have an inflated notion of my own importance? That “nobody can replace me” when caring for these burdens of my heart?
Brownie stretches full length across my lap, replete with food, the still-nerve-wracking jab behind us for the night. Every day he acts a bit more normally, hunting a spider in a corner, pouncing on the string toy, and showing few noticeable signs of diabetic distress. It’s good to imagine he doesn’t think he’s sick, or wonder if he’s going to get worse. Such teachers of the moment, our animals are.
Perhaps only the heart can lift a burden of the heart. I breathe slowly, go still, and ask to be guided. While I await heart enlightenment I send my mind on to another task, seeking occupation and distraction.
How about revising your Tarot workshop notes? suggests my busywork-loving mind. Hmm. That sounds good to my conscious self. Then, whispers the heart, I can speak to you through those arcane and alchemical illustrations, as clearly as I can breathe wisdom into your mind’s ear.
Finally, I smile. Both mind and heart remind me that whatever happens will be what’s supposed to be. My conscious self nods its etheric head, and gathers all the parts of me needed to move on to the next interior frontier.