Being of Service

I am knee deep in the revision process and struggling with my magical inspiration. As I was staring at the screen trying to rewrite one of my chapters, the phone rings and the caller ID reveals it is the caregiver agency we use for my mother. There is a physical reaction sprinkled with some colorful sentence enhancers prior to me answering the phone. I don’t have to be psychic to know that the caregiver isn’t going to be showing up. And since, my mother refuses anyone else gracing her with their presence, it will once again, be me.

When I call my mother to let her know, I am relegated to listening. She shares that she believes it is time to fire her and lists all of this woman’s shortcomings. I pause. I take a breath. This is the cycle. Her pattern. Then I tell her that we will revisit this later to come up with a game plan. This sedates her, but I know it is temporary.

I resume my staring at the screen. The process of contemplating my character’s interactions when the phone rings, again. This time it is my mother, so I answer. She sounds panicked and asks me to come over as she can’t take her medicine and she is dizzy. I know that this is all anxiety related. Without coping skills in place, her body betrays her and she dives deep into a panic attack. I will own that I wasn’t exactly kind on the phone. That my own selfishness was front and center.

On the drive over, I asked God to accompany me along with giving me kind words to say. Upon arrival, she was hyperventilating. She was shaking. It took some time, but she calmed down. I was kind and compassionate. I hardly recognized myself. I fed her. Got her some coffee. Turned the heat up to the temperature of the center of the sun. She finally seemed settled.

Our conversation veered toward some solutions to her caregiver issues. I offered to mediate a dialogue between them so that we could be on the same page. Of course, my mother would prefer to not have anyone. Then she said to me, “I know you like writing, but what would it take for you to give that up and care for me?” In my head, I am thinking “WTF”.

I love my mother. I want her to be happy, but not at the cost of giving up my dream. So, I told her about the book. I haven’t shared that some literary agents are interested. Honestly, I haven’t even shared I was writing it. My reasons are complicated, but in this instance, I felt the need to inform her. She was cute in her reaction. “That is so wonderful! Can you write over here? I won’t bother you.” I inform her I have this routine. That I have a special spot for creating. Then we let the subject simply drop.

Yesterday, I was able to be of service. Free of the annoyance of her incapability to be more flexible. Trusting the process along with honoring my own truth. Life experience dictates that I can’t be all things to all people. That saying “no” doesn’t mean I don’t care. If anything, it allows me to a better human being. And, honestly, that is what I am striving to be……the best version of myself.

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