Updated: Dec 9, 2020
I woke up this morning wishing I was not a caregiver.
I woke up this morning wishing I was not facing a fight to pull down pull-ups.
I woke up this morning wishing my life had nothing to do with organizing pills, stocking up on baby wipes, scrubbing carpets to lessen the pee smell, coaxing and cajoling a combative old woman into a shower, turning the other cheek to frustrated screams, scheming humane ways to accomplish toileting, pill taking, clothes changing, bed going.
I woke up this morning wishing I didn't have to calculate how long a life will be lived, what end-of-life resources may be required, how much they will costs, construct scenarios of "if years are X then amount is Y".
I woke up this morning wishing I wasn't required to think on the price of death. Especially this death.
I woke up this morning wishing I hadn't slept so late, rueing the already lost hours of precious caregiver freedom, mentally dropping from the to-do list personal chores that now could not get done, would be added to the next to-do list, just as they were added to this one, and will be added to numerous ones in the future, the stress of unfinished business already crushing the day.
I woke up this morning wishing I hadn't drank a bottle of cheap champagne and eaten potato chips in bed last night for temporary comfort, wishing there was less of me to present to the world, wishing there were fewer crows feet, whiter teeth, nicer clothes, better words, a jaunty gait, a sparkly personality - taller, thinner, younger, smarter, interesting.
I woke up this morning wishing the ever-present terror of my own poverty would take a day off, would not loom over me with the despair that I will never financially recover from this - this caregiver role that I have chosen.
I wrote it all down.
I had an epiphany.
Someday the manner of my death will be revealed to me.
Someday it may be The Big "D".
Someday, when my cognition is failing, when the reality of my terror is both real and unreal, when I still know enough to know my time is ending, when my todays are lived in true misery for the tomorrows, I will wish for the joy, the freedom, the privilege...
...of the morning when I woke up wishing I was not a caregiver.