Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taffy Pull Life

Photo by Stefan, under a cc license

I'm not sure what my life would be like if I wasn't always being pulled in so many directions at once.  Part of what creates my art is the synthesis of the different facets of my being: storyteller, poet, mother, wife, child, clinician.  There isn't a definite boundary to demarcate where one of these roles ends and another begins.

As Walt Whitman writes:

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Most of the time, I manage to contain (or at least juggle) those multitudes.  There is a thread of 'me' that pulls through all my different life roles and responsibilities. It's what keeps me (for the most part!) sane, able to do and be.

But there are days when I feel like taffy on a pulling machine.  Today is one of those days.  My parents are doing poorly.  My father fell and broke his ankle over the weekend.  My mother and father are both in their late 80s, and frail.

I know they are physically safe.  They live in a place where meals are prepared, where there is access to medical and physical care 24 hours a day, but still I am pulled to be there.  Nearly 2,000 miles separates our lives.

Only a plane ride.  Yes.  But this week, my husband is also away.  Three time zones away, and cannot get back before the weekend.  Part of my multitudes are my children.  I cannot leave them alone for an entire week, no matter how responsible and trustworthy they are.

The burden falls on my older sister.  She lives nearby where our parents are and I understand she feels overwhelmed.

I feel overwhelmed.

There is little to do but be stretched, knowing that I will stretch and not be broken.

Next week, I will fly to be with my parents, to help them as best as I can.


  1. (((hugs))) Thats all I can say. I hate how it feels so awful and you want to take the pain away from the situation and make everything perfect, but in reality all you can do it just support and wait. Thinking of you friend and sending a prayer your way.

  2. Thanks, G. I've decided that the whole metaphor/image of the 'sandwich' generation is totally wrong. Being in a sandwich would be much preferable to this sense of being stretched so thin and in so many directions.

    Hugs gratefully accepted. xo