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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Slice of Life: Holding On


On Tuesdays, the community of Two Writing Teachers hosts the Slice of Life. Join the incredible community by writing a snippet of life, or even join with just a comment or two. Everyone is welcome!

On Sunday night, I met up with my writing group on our Google Hangout. (Do you capitalize those two words? I always debate that...) Toward the end of our meeting, I admitted that I have been the absentee slicer for the last few weeks. 

"We've noticed," one of them said.

"We miss you," another added.

"Honestly," I said, "what I'd write would probably be sadder than anyone would want to read."

"Try us," someone else says.

 "And, my blog is tricky. It's not about personal stuff. It's about educational stuff."

"Write on your personal blog," one of my writing partners said. 

I nod and sigh.

"By the end of the day, I'm beat," I want to say. "I'm just not up for getting back into work mode."

Because, from the time I walk into the door these days, I'm in full work mode. Not books. Not computers. Not reading. Not writing. 

I'm taking care of my dad.

But tonight, I'm on my personal blog, and I'm writing. And I don't think it's too depressing. (Maybe just a little...)

One of the most helpful posts that I read throughout my dad's sickness reminded me of the difference between the words have to and get to. I get to live with my dad as he is in the late stages of prostate cancer. I get to feed him. I get to help him walk. I get to brush his teeth, comb his hair, tuck him into bed... I get to love him through this inevitable part of his life. 

Caring for someone when they need help doing everything is hard and exhausting, but it is also intimate and full of moments to hold on to, cherishing and remembering. 

Tonight, I will hold on to the image of my brother inviting my dad to hug him, to put his arms around him and hold on. I will hold on to the image of the two of them wrapped in an embrace, my brother's strong arms around Dad's frail body. 

I will hold on.












Becaue, from the time I walk in the door

10 comments:

  1. Very sad and very beautiful.
    And strangely encouraging to me as my Mom is aging and moved in with me.
    Holding on to those pictures of love and beauty has got to be one of the best ways through the pain. More happiness from remembering them than anything, I think.

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  2. I'm glad you wrote, and sorry that you have to go through this, but I've been there in a slightly different way, and do understand that "get to". Those moments, no matter bitter too, are treasured. Hugs to you, Melanie for all you're doing, even here at the end of the busiest time for teachers. Hugs to you for being with your father.

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  3. I'm so glad you wrote as this too is a slice of life. It's hard and challenging to put your life on hold for your parents; however, it's one of those things that you cannot get a "do it again" chance to do! It's hard to see it at moments, but these are moments when you have one last chance to make a difference. Prayers for your dad and for you, the caregiver.

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  4. I'm so glad you wrote as this too is a slice of life. It's hard and challenging to put your life on hold for your parents; however, it's one of those things that you cannot get a "do it again" chance to do! It's hard to see it at moments, but these are moments when you have one last chance to make a difference. Prayers for your dad and for you, the caregiver.

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  5. I'm so glad you wrote, Melanie. I'm crying, of course. My father-in-law died ten years ago and the memory of his last two weeks of his life are a gift I treasure. We rallied as a family. I remember wiping his forehead and having an intimate time with him and my sister-in-law. There is so much love in this kind of caring. I'm glad you are finding those moments, too, and cherishing them. You are in my prayers.

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  6. I, too, have missed your voice, but understand what a toll daily life has on your energy. I think about get to versus have to and the power of the words. Beautiful reminder in your slice to savor every moment with those we love.

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  7. So glad you posted. It is an unbelievably difficult job, and hard to see your dad in such a weak state. You have such a wonderful outlook on the situation, though. You will never regret spending that time with him.

    I have found that writing, whether it's about what's going on or something totally different just to get my mind off the problems at hand, has been very therapeutic. I wish I had written more in the years my dad was sick and not just after he was gone. Sending you love and strength!!

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  8. This post brought back memories of my time with my mom. Thanks for writing even though this was a difficult post. Glad you have these precious memories. Prayers for strength and comfort for you.

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  9. Tears.

    Precious moments.

    Thank you for sharing.

    "I get to..."

    So moving.

    What a wonderful way to look at life.

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  10. I've been reminded of the wording "I get to" all week. Thank you.

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