The ‘WHO’ of Me


“GIRL”, 24″ x 4″, ceramic, steel
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The shifting tides of identity amidst a chronic illness are not governed by anything so reliable as the pull of the moon.

The movement of underground techtonic plates is a constant

And yet we don’t know it till some fissure erupts.

The landscape is altered and foreign

But we’ve no business wondering if ‘this’ is permanent

Because change has become our in-breath

And we must figure out once again how to exhale.

In the middle of me trying to negotiate the murky waters of encroaching physical weakness and disability

And trying to fit the frayed and ragged pieces of this impossible puzzle together

Someone said to me: “Cathy, you may not think of yourself as someone the government takes care of..”

And, certainly I did not.

There have been many, many times I have braved the ‘shame waters’

As the list of “I can take care of myself,s”

Frittered away and was replaced by “I need your help.”

This week, on the recommendation of a friend,

I called a local organization called KITCHEN ANGELS.

They are dedicated to providing meals for people like me

Who are deeply in need of the support

Of warm and healthy cooking delivered to the home.

My right arm makes chopping vegetables an issue

And I find myself skipping meals to save strength.

Calling KITCHEN ANGELS was a big deal for me.

I had to consciously shift my mind

Away from “Oh, God.. I am pathetic”

To: “Cathy, you are SO deserving of this support.”

I am practiced at this reclaiming of my sea legs

Because I’ve done it now when I needed to begin using a walker

And then the wheelchair.

The mental machinations I performed were the ONLY things which allowed me to gracefully move

Into the new ‘me’

And most importantly, LIKE HER!

So, yeah…

I need support these days.

Is that bad?

No.

It just IS.

And that may change.

But for today..

I’m cool with it.

And grateful.

So very, very grateful for the help.

comments

One Response to “The ‘WHO’ of Me”

  1. Carmen A. on February 8th, 2011

    Sometimes it is okay to ask for and receive help. You give us the gifts of your thoughts often.

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