Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fighting Resentment

Sometime after Eddie's death I remember watching a television special on Farah Fawcett.  It detailed her long battle with cancer and all that she went through trying to beat the disease.   I couldn't help but wonder why one person would fight so hard to stay alive while another would give up so easily.  I'm asking the same thing again now in relation to my mother and her cancer.  Now that she has decided to pursue treatment options, she is very determined to do what it takes to beat the disease.  She is seeking a second opinion from a surgeon in Atlanta before she makes a decision about exactly what she will do.  But she will do something - surgery, chemotherapy, or both - what she won't do is give up.  So why was Eddie willing to give up so easily?  Alcoholism is a disease just as cancer is.  There's no cure for alcoholism, but you can recover from it just as you can recover from cancer.  There are treatment options for alcoholism just as there are treatment options for cancer.  You don't have to choose to die from either disease.  My mother is willing to fight, so why wasn't Eddie? 

I've been surprised to find that I'm having so many of the same feelings about my mother's cancer that I had about Eddie's suicide.  I experienced the same shock and numbness upon hearing the news.  I've felt anger and asked the "why" question.  Now I'm dealing with another common feeling - resentment.  I do not resent my mother, nor did I ever resent Eddie.  My mother didn't ask to have cancer, and Eddie didn't ask to be an alcoholic.  I don't blame either of them.  What I resent are the diseases and what they do to our lives.  I resented what Eddie's drinking did to him, to Trey, to me, and to our family.  Our schedules, our plans, our routines, our entire lives changed when he was drinking.  The same is happening now because of cancer.  I resent the cancer and the changes it is making in our lives.  My mother had just gotten my grandmother settled into living here with her ... now that has changed.  She was taking care of Emily before and after school every day ... now that has changed.  Trey has always depended on my mother to be there when he needed help with Emily ... that will have to change.  My dad counts on my mother to check  on him and take him places ... that will have to change.  There will be changes in my life too.  I have been working on my specialist's degree for the past three semesters.  I was on track to finish next summer.  I have decided not to take any classes this semester though because I don't know how much time I will need to spend helping my mother.  This is in no way her fault, I don't blame her for what's happening, but I resent having to make the change.

I hope my honesty doesn't make others think less of me.  When I first started my blog I said I would be completely honest about everything.  If I'm not honest, writing this won't help me or anyone else.  I waited for two years to start writing about Eddie's death.  Once I started it helped me a great deal.  My hope is that writing while this is happening with my mother rather than waiting will help me to get through it.  I want to continue my story of Eddie's suicide, while relaying what we're going through with my mother at the same time.  I just have to figure out how to manage everything on my plate at one time!

He Asks so Little and Gives so Much - Helen Steiner Rice
What must I do to ensure peace of mind?
Is the answer I'm seeking too hard to find?
How can I know what God wants me to be?
How can I tell what's expected of me?
Where can I go for guidance and aid
To help me correct the errors I've made?
The answer is found in doing three things,
And great is the gladness that doing them brings.
"Do justice" - "Love kindness" -
"Walk humbly with God" -
For with these three things as your rule and your rod,
All things worth having are yours to achieve,
If you follow God's words and have faith to believe. 

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