This silver bird takes me ‘cross the sky
Just one more hour and I’ll be home and dry
‘Cross the ocean, way above the clouds I come stealing
Feeling tired, but I feel good
‘Cause I did everything I said I would
I think of you and I know how you’ll be feeling
I got to see you, I got to be with you
We’ll make it better now in every way
It’s got to be you, it’s got to be you
Yes, from now on I’ll tell you every day
Way up here, above this timeless seaGerry Rafferty- Home & Dry from the album City to City
I realize just what it is you mean to me
You give me something when I thought that everything we had was dying
I needed reason just to make me carry on
Well, I know better now, I know where I belong
I can’t imagine how I ever let myself just give up trying
What a day. It begins when I hear from a mother from HPH who messaged me repeatedly yesterday threatening suicide and telling me she had run away from home. I reached out to others to see if they could reach out to her. I tried calling. She refused to answer. I messaged her she was needed here and left it in God’s hands. It was all I could do. She stopped messaging me. This morning, she sheepishly tells me she is still here and apologizes for what she put me through. I shame her thoroughly. I take any talk of suicide very seriously. Was she just seeking attention? Possibly. It’s not for me to take that for granted though. I tell her that she is needed, that she has responsibilities here yet. She’s been through hell in her life. I know people who have endured things that most of us can’t even imagine. When I’ve marveled at her bravery, she has told me that she had to endure these things to develop the empathy she’s developed. I tell her again, we signed up for this. We must endure. I give her the key to my survival, one day at a time. I don’t have to make it years, or months, or weeks. When I’m feeling the way she was feeling, I set my site on hours. I just need to make it until tonight. If I can make it until tonight, I can fall into bed, fall asleep, and start over tomorrow. I can always make it until tonight.
Tywana’s mother is moving today. She’s spent five years in independent living in a retirement center around the corner from us. That’s probably five years longer than she should have been in independent living. But, the time of scraping by has come to an end and it’s time to move her downstairs where someone can keep a closer eye on her 24×7. She’s not happy about it and she lets us know. Tywana has to take off half a day of work to help her make the move. All in all, it’s over eight hours of helping her move, rearranging her room, going to Costco to buy a refrigerator for her, delivering the refrigerator to her, etc. She’s in rare form today, complaining about life, asking twenty times in twenty minutes why Tywana has decided to move her down here, asking which floor she is currently on, asking which floor she has just come from, and asking who I am. She’s on a loop. This is the first time she has not recognized me. It’s understandable. I rarely visit her here, only to come to deliver something or fix something. She comes to our house. I’m also wearing a hat and coat since it’s literally 0º out. So, unfamiliar surroundings coupled with me in “disguise”. I understand why she’s having trouble placing me.
In between all the questions is the complaint. “I don’t know why I am still here. I can’t wait until the Good Lord calls me.” And, there are words thrown in that I didn’t know she even knew. She is cussing like a sailor. This is not the mild-mannered, soft-spoken woman I’ve known for over three decades. Dementia and depression have turned her into someone she would be ashamed of. All she wants is to be Home. Everyone tries to convince her she’s living in a great place. And, she is. The food is good. There are all kinds of activities. She’s loved by the residents and the staff. But, she wants to be Home and Dry. Nothing else will do. I fell ya, Margaret. I do.
When we get home, Tywana heads upstairs for some alone time. I can’t blame her. It’s been a hard day. Her mother is miserable and she’s had to spend the day listening to her complain while Tywana is sacrificing money (from not working) and time to help her. Margaret is convinced she can go back to Springfield and live on her own. But, she doesn’t lift a finger to move into her own place. It can be frustrating if you forget this isn’t really the Margaret we know.
The thing that makes us think we can’t make it is we think it will be like this “forever”. And, we know we cannot endure this pain forever. That causes us to seek an immediate end. I don’t blame my friend for wanting to kill herself. I don’t blame Margaret for wanting to go Home. Who the hell doesn’t want to go Home? I think of it every single day. I have suicidal thoughts. I also want an end. I tell this to my friend who’s been contemplating suicide. But, this is part of the plan. I’m on a mission. We’re all on a mission. We are walking each other back home, to mix metaphors with the Gerry Rafferty lyrics I opened with. I suppose he wrong this song while on the road thinking about having done his gigs and returning to his sweetie in the physical. But, when I listen to it 40 years after he performed it, I think about being on the return trip from my (completed) mission and seeing my sweetie.
To my fellow travelers who are just as weary as I am, hang in there. Nothing in this life lasts forever. Savor the good, because it’s fleeting. Endure the pain because it’s temporary. One day soon we’ll be Home and Dry.
p.s.- In my dreams after the stressful day, I’m playing golf again. I play golf often in my dreams. But, the physics are weird and we play on crazy courses. I’m with my friend Irene and we’re teeing off. Instead of the ball being on the ground, it sits on a tee that brings it up to almost chest high- like kids teeball. The driver is short but it’s still nearly impossible for me to play from this type of tee. Normally, I just try but today I say “Let’s look for a course where the tees are on the ground and we don’t have to tee off from indoors.”. While we’re looking around, I notice the pro shop. I want to buy some new clubs. But, I know I’m not spending money on frivolous stuff right now. Then, I realize that I’m on the “other side”. I know that if I think about this too much, I’ll wake up. But, I manage to stay in the dream a while longer. I can spend money here because here money is unlimited. I don’t have to be miserly. I’ll buy the clubs now and I’ll have them for the next time I’m back to play. I notice they are giving a lecture on the various brands that are available. I’m going to sit in. I look at some pretty amazing putters while I’m waiting. And, I look forward to coming back.