(Tangent alert - As soon as I began to type this post, I saw the bright cardinal perched outside my window...in five degree temp. Just sayin'. Back to it...)
I heard this line from Jill w/ significant frequency. It was often coupled w/ a tone of frustration...and sometimes exhaustion...pointed at me.
I was a bit of a pusher.
If I was getting out for a run, Jilly, you're coming w/ me.
If I was going to down a grotesque green homemade smoothie (b/c of it's health benefits), Jilly, you were going to suck it up and suck it down w/ me.
If I was getting out of bed to have breakfast w/ Ro, Jilly, you're joining us.
The common thread here being that I was truly pushing for our individual and collective benefit.
It was always a push of love, encouragement. Not aggression. Sometimes frustration...
Let me say this more clearly. Very simply, I wanted what was best for Jill. And when Rory came into our world, I wanted what was best for both of them. Always and w/o question.
And I can say w/ a great level of confidence that they both know this.
But, again, I could be pushy. And Jill let me know.
(That bird is still present...)
So, when I urged Jill to juice, nudged her to exercise, or pushed her to play w/ Ro, she'd respond, "I'm doing the best I can." But, if I'm honest w/ myself - w/ Jill - I'm not sure I heard her in those moments. My frustration clouded my ability to empathize.
In retrospect (fucking retrospect), real truth was in those words. I just didn't hear it. Or I had a difficult time absorbing and accepting it.
Just give yourself a little push, Jilly. If not for yourself, for us. I thought this line to myself and actually pointed it directly to her on more than one occasion.
But, damn it, Jason. Jill was doing the best she could. Just b/c you can get your ass out of bed at a 'normal' hour doesn't mean Jill has the capacity - the energy - to do the same.
And to be fair to myself (a bit), occasionally I was able to recognize this and give Jill the pass she most certainly deserved, earned.
But, while she had an ongoing armageddon inside of her, I had an internal tug-o-war...or maybe a tightrope walking challenge in front of me.
Do I passively sit back and just watch Jill make her own decisions, honor them, and keep my fucking mouth shut? After all, it's her life. Her choices. Back the fuck away and respect that.
Or, do I get in there, offer/make/fling suggestive behaviors her way, hoping
Really, I had convinced myself that if Jill just did everything I thought was best for her well-being (based on my endless research), she'd fucking run that disease out of her body and into the ether. How ludicrous is that? (The audacity of hope...or the audacity of a dope?)
Equally, when she opted for the couch instead of the dog walk, or the Twizzler instead of the kale chip, I was convinced (and dumbfounded by the fact) that she was giving more power and control to the disease.
Fuck that. W/ that mentality, how do you sit idly by and just watch? This wasn't a spectator sport. I was in this game w/ her. And we were going to fucking win.
(Cardinal flew off. Maybe my post pissed it (her?) off...)
During the last several months of our time together, my tendency to be overbearing gave way to genuine compassion. I put aside my agenda and simply aimed to make Jill comfortable - both physically and mentally. Whatever she wanted, I was going to support those decisions.
That was a jagged pill for me to swallow. But, in the end, it was the right pill for me. For us.
So now it's my turn. While I don't say it aloud, I catch myself directing that line inward.
When I'm dragging (always), can't get out of bed at a reasonable hour (often), or question my abilities as a father (occasionally), this line pops into my head.
I'm doing the best I can.
I just hope it's enough.
J, J, & r