Managing Life with Lupus - A full time job! Caregiving ranks right up there, too.

It's been more than 6 weeks since my dear old dad passed away. I still miss him as much as I did the day he passed, but healing takes time.  And now that I know what that feels like, I find that I am more prepared to tackle each day as it comes. Those moments of overwhelming grief are fewer and farther between. So progress! 

I am still thankful for every day I had with my dad. Away from the grind and responsibility of caregiving, I am now able to freely recall instances that make me smile - moments we shared that no one can take away. Most trips down memory lane end in some sort of tears - but I'm happy to report more happy tears than sad, as time marches on. 

In the month and a half since his passing, we have been busy wrapping up his affairs, and securing my mom's. The primary goal of this month has been to get their house (which has been sitting since last July) on the market. As anyone knows, this is no easy task. A lifetime of memories packed into a home does not make for light, frivolous work. But we are managing.  And every time I've traveled to Indiana to do a major overhaul on the house,  I remind myself that a daily nap has to be priority one. My dad wouldn't let me get away with anything less, and I don't want to let him down. 

That said, sorting through their affairs, while time-consuming, doesn't even compare to the time committment involved in caregiving. It was a full time job. Bottom line. 

I remember saying the same thing about managing lupus, particularly in the beginning,  when you are adjusting to life with a chronic illness.  It's all so new - the multiple medications, the numerous doctor appointments, the insurance claims, not to mention the debilitating symptoms that make all of the above so challenging. It just all comes so quickly and all at once - the feeling that you will never, ever juggle it successfully is so very real. 

I also remember picturing my life as it used to be - without all the sick girl paraphernalia.  It seemed so distant, so unattainable. That life would ever return to something manageable or enjoyable seemed completely out of reach. 

And yet here I am. Happy. Healthy. Managing in a way I never would have imagined possible.  Thank goodness I never gave up! 

That is the one thing my dad never gave up on - managing his illness to the best of his ability. He met every day with realistic goals and a positive attitude. He didn't dwell on what he couldn't do. He focused on what he could, and what he still had to offer this world. (See? There come the tears.) He made an impact every last day he was on this earth - despite his diminishing communciation skills and compromised abilities. I will forever remember how steadfast he was. How patient. How kind. 

He was a great man. An example for all. One that I don't plan on disappointing anytime soon. 

Daily nap, I'm coming for you. 


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