The Dread Of Independence

I had another article planned for today. I had started it last week and, to my shame, never got back to it. But that’s okay; it’s been said that life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

So, rather than the planned rejoicing about Jacquelynn’s improved memories and even recalling things which had previously totally escaped her (SS# and birthday, anyone?!), we’re going to talk a bit about facing a new challenge for which I have clearly not prepared her well. Yes, our savings have been pretty well depleted and despite our efforts to put it off, I am going to have to go back to work, and quite soon.

So, when I finish writing this, I’m going to brush up my resume, write a fresh cover letter, and get busy.

But I refuse to be morose or play the victim here. As you’ve all heard (read?) me say many times over, I fully believe that life happens for us, not to us. This, too, will serve to assist and perhaps even expedite Jacquelynn’s recovery in some way, and I may even have a decent grasp on how:

To begin with, a confession: I have control issues. While I truly believe that this propensity has served us very well in staying on track and keeping Jacquelynn on the path to what will eventually be her full recovery, it may very well also have served her ill in some ways. In enforcing a fairly rigid schedule of meals, meds, and supplement-fortified smoothies, I’m fairly certain that I have stunted, to some degree at least, her return to any level of independence.

My reasons for feeling this way are manifold, but I’ll share just a couple here. In many ways, Jacquelynn is sharper and more capable around the house than she was before I left work to stay home and care for her full-time. Her conversational skills are sharper; she’s more nimble and ambulatory around the house, even picking up and doing a little light cleaning; and she’s ever eager to do and contribute more. But I haven’t pushed her to learn how to dress herself again, and I still put each individual pill into her mouth as she takes her meds, coaching her through each swallow. She needs my help to change the channel on the TV (admittedly, the remote is VERY busy and confusing) and mine is the only number she has the confidence to dial on her cell phone.

My returning to work will serve to force some of these issues to the forefront, and while she won’t like it at all, she will, by necessity, begin to reclaim some of her independence.  I honestly expect that, after a few weeks, she’ll even begin to enjoy it a bit.

I’m not looking forward to this, and not for the reasons some may suspect. It’s going to be extremely traumatic for her at first. Indeed, every conversation about it begins and ends with tears now. But I’m just as likely to be a wreck at first, as I adapt to trusting her on her own. Which is why I’m going to begin, at least, with a part-time job. Initially, I’ll work a few days each week and only a few hours on those days. We have dozens of retail stores within easy walking distance, and with my 2+ decades of retail experience, I’m certain I can get a job quickly, and even have plans regarding which I want to try first.

We are both immeasurably and eternally grateful to those of you who have contributed and shared our GoFundMe campaign, and the money raised will go precisely where I promised it would. It was an extremely long shot that such a campaign would raise enough to allow me to stay home longer, but it did provide some much-needed assistance, and we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

Next time, we’ll revisit the above-inferred instances of shockingly effective recall on Jacquelynn’s part. Until then, thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and know that you remain in ours, as well.

Now, where to find my old resume files….

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