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Hi everyone, I think I’ve finally got a handle on the whole social media model. Twitter is like a cocktail party: “hi, how are you, good to see you, thanks for coming.” Facebook is like meeting a friend for coffee: “you look great, love the pix from your vacation. How did you like the play?” And a blog is an opportunity for people out in the webosphere to find out who you really are, and hopefully to carry on a more in-depth conversation.
That being said, there is something more you should know about me. During all of this texting and tweeting, facebooking, and writing novels and stage plays, I am a full-time caregiver for my mother, Evangeline. She is 86 years old and has Parkinson’s disease. She is pretty much wheel-chair bound, but she insists on walking as much as she can for as long as she can. So, in the mornings, after I walk our dog Kona, I come home and walk mom in our backyard four to six times around a bit of lawn we have in the backyard.
She is not dying per see, not in the late stages, she may live for another couple years, or who knows, it could be sooner. I don’t want to this to be a “woe-is-me” kinda post. It is more a reminder that along with her, my days are numbered too. For a long time I kept thinking: “well, when mom goes, that’s when my career will really take off.” But if all I do all day is push her wheel chair around and watch “Jeopardy” with her, I will go nuts.
Instead, I use her as my constant, I plan my writing time around her naps and meal times. It forces me to be more disciplined and structured with my time. I’m happier, as I get the chance to do what I love, and she’s happier, seeing that I am happy.
It is not always easy, there have been a lot of mother/daughter politics going on. When she first moved in her, she expected to run the show. I finally had to say, “look, I lived by your rules when I lived in your house for twenty years, now it’s your turn to live by mine.” It was tough, but we always kiss and make-up. I don’t plan on passing out caregiving tips, but a Diaper Genie works well for Depends too.
These days I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite authors, Carlos Castaneda who speaks of death always being just over your left shoulder, that it is at arm’s length and can tap you at any moment, so you really have no time for crappy thoughts or moods. He also said, “For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”
― Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you guys. Rachel

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