It all keeps getting thicker.
Years ago my wife suffered but survived an odd disease known as Guillain-Barre (gee-on bar-ay) soon after our daughter was born. I was frustrating cause it presents as so many other possibilities (simple fatigue) in its early stages. It nearly killed her. The biggest scar it left was the scare that there can be bizzare diseases that seem like nothing, but doctors diagonose wrong. Once you learn this lesson, it's impossible to forget.
Now she has a torn TFCC (a complete cartilage structure in the hand), some torn knee cartilage and an only rotator cuff tear hurting. The knee and wrist really didn't come from obviously traumatic events. So is this just rotten luck, or some bizzare cartilidge-falling-apart disease? We don't know. We press on. She has been at 20% for the last 4 weeks, and now facing wrist surgery, will probably be at 20% for another 4 or more.
On top of that her father in Houston (150 miles away) has suffered renal failure from too much NSAIDs taken for gout cause by chronic alcoholism which was overcome 20 years ago. He also suffers from BPE (and COPD) which caused a raging urinary tract infection which spread to his blood.
The guy lives recently widowed in a trailer park, set in his ways and would have died, unchallenged, in bed last week if my wife hadn't called EMS remotely (who did not take him in) and forced her cousin (living in the same trailer park) to take him to the doctor who did admit him. Now he faces 20+ days in hospital for dialysis waiting to see if his kidneys kick back on... and if not, then what?
We saw him this weekend, and he is just out of the game. He doesn't complain about the hospital. He doesn't worry about his "stuff." He just sits in bed, with gout paining his knees, not really eating, waiting for the next dialysis.
I'm being stretched in ways I never have, these days. Covering much work at home. Striving to encourage my wife in her pain, and fathom the needs and wants of an aging, hurting man.
It is a whole shitload of dharma. Just-is-ness that I find difficult to face. I am angry and put out that life can't be the protected normalcy I had a month ago when I was sewing my rakusu and dreaming of precepts from Brad.
What would the patriarchs do in all this? Again I find myself angry that the famous ones all left "home and family" and escaped hells like this. How do I take a next step as I struggle with shame over my sarcastic tone to wife who has asked me for help for the nth time today?
This is the real crucible. When things get so tangled they are unrecognizable, and 5 minutes of no immediate trouble is like a vacation of 2 weeks. When you can see your own faults and pettiness and anger parading out of you like a 4th of July parade. No pretense of "holy". Buddha just please let me not be a beast in the next moment.
Jump in the raging stream
Fly past rocks and over waterfalls
Fearful of the trip and splash and swirl?
Unfamiliar scenery flashing by to quick?
Who are you?
to the deep stillness
of the whole dharma.
1 week ago