Saturday, December 10, 2011

Priority Number One

This time of year is always a challenge with events leading up to Christmas. Requests to attend parties, visits with family and friends who come to town to visit their family, and my ongoing focus on my senior pals, all have demands on a limited supply of time. And that's not to mention decorating our house, which is something my partner truly enjoys as he likes to have our house looking cheery, particularly to brighten the spirits of his mother who spends Christmas with us.

However, I have had a wake-up call to the demands of my time and priorities for something far more critical...

I regret that my partner is displaying symptoms again of his non-malignant brain tumor. For the past week, he has not been well. He is understandably worried, as am I. But I can't display my fears lest it heighten his anxiety.

Without providing much of an explanation, I just say "no, thanks" to the party invitations. I recruit some other senior pals to check on those who have more needs. We will decorate our house minimally -- it will be nice, but perhaps not have everything that we usually put out for Christmas on display.

My priority is my partner. Helping him feel calm, cared-for, and protected. Part of what I need to do is listen. Just listen. Giving him an opportunity to express his feelings and to vent is something he needs right now.

I will take him to doctor's appointments and follow through with picking up any prescriptions and providing treatments. Fortunately, I am still licensed to give injections or infusions -- if that becomes necessary. Less trips to medical facilities are a good thing.

Depending on how my partner is feeling, I may make the drive to Pittsburgh to pick up his mother, instead of my partner driving up there by himself. He may not be in the condition to drive on 19 December, which is when he was planning to go get her. We don't know... we have to wait to see what the doctors say and follow instructions.

Regardless, his Mom will be with us for Christmas. Her happiness is a priority to my partner. My priority is doing whatever makes my partner healthy and happy. If my driving all that way and back is what I need to do... I'll do it. I hate to drive, but I love my partner more than dealing with my annoyance and discomfort with long-distance driving.

Some may ask, "why can't your mother-in-law take a bus or a plane?" ... answer is, she has some mental and physical problems of her own that make independent travel an option she cannot take. She does not drive, so the only way she can visit us is for one of us to pick her up.

Perhaps the baking will wait; the visiting will be less; the decorating will be sparse. The priority remains my partner -- my best half, my one-and-only, the light of my life.

Life is short: get priorities straight.

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