I have never before sat with a person crying from pain for hour upon hour. My sister needed pain meds but was unwilling to get relief – until now. She was afraid of drugs and the side-effects too. In all fairness, her attention was on caring for my mother instead of herself, but she is stubborn too. Caught in that pain, she couldn’t see the big picture.

I cannot imagine the strength and compassion of doctors and nurses in war torn areas who work without the drugs and medicine they need to be effective. This experience has left me knowing how blessed I am, and how sheltered in the opulence of America. We should not take our medical care for granted.

Later: My sister was admitted to the hospital. Now the wait is for diagnosis and treatment options, etc. etc. When she is stable, they will send her to a nursing facility for rehab. Physically and emotionally, it has gotten much easier on me. I no longer have to help her move her foot into a position so she can stand, then put a sheet behind her and pull her upright. I don’t have to listen to her crying and cussing at herself. Many of the tears came from the grief of losing our mother, many came from frustration at the breakdown of her body, and many are from the fear of being alone, something she has never experienced. The rest of the tears were just plain from pain.

The choices are up to each of us; how we take care of ourselves, how we take care of our family. Life isn’t meant to be easy, it’s just life. We don’t get to choose what comes our way, only how we respond to it. Tomorrow will be a new day and a new story will come our way.

About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature as well as mainstream fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's. Her second novel, Rhyaden, a middle grade fantasy released Nov. 2018. Gardening, exploring National Parks, Kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing top her list of favorite hobbies.
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