In my darkest days of depression, pretty much back in the early and middle 80's, things were so muddled for me that the most routine things took on (from my bleak outlook) immense proportions of problems that could not be solved. Especially paper work - balancing a check book, filling out my tax returns, filing insurance claims forms. To even think about performing such routine (and formerly very small) tasks made me weary; gave me head aches.
One of the great lessons, the great gifts of my depression(s) to me was that I learned how to recognize people living in a world of psychic pain and hurt, learning how from these people, one has no right to expect anything, and that unto these people, one has an obligation to offer a smile, or to offer ones self as a listening ear - to do something kind, and in so doing, perhaps to save a life, or, perhaps less dramatically, to uplift, no matter how slightly, a down and out human being.
So it was, but there was much more to be learned from that period. To learn about uncertainty, and how uncertain we can become, about helplessness, and how helpless we can become, when that dark fog overcomes us, and over whelms us, and thus, it was quite disconcerting the other evening, as my father decided to make a donation to LINK MEDIA, and to fill out a card to accompany his check, and he needed all sorts of help doing this thing, which ought to have been quite simple, but it would have invovled him reading, AND making an assumption as to what entity to make the check payable to (inexplicably, there was no formal statement on the order of: MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO LINK MEDIA), nor realizing that since he was writing a check, he need not fill in any of his credit card information.
And thus I found myself annoyed with / at my father (again).
Good God Almighty, Mark, you insufferable prick! Your father is OLD; he is 84-years old, and he is doing the kind of thing that his wife (my mother) always used to do, and he has had SO very little practice at doing this. HAVE SOME FRICKIN' PATIENCE! CUT THE MAN SOME SLACK.
Ouch. That hurts. As much as I love my father (trust me, it is with strings attached), there are times when I simply cannot stand some of his (sadly, lifelong) "quirks."
Grant me patience, dear Lord, with my father, and with all things. Let me not leap to anger at myself for having placed him on a pedestal for so many years after it was apparent that he never belonged there in the first place, and take that anger out on him - that anger for my failure to see reality; to live in the present moment.
And thank you, Lord, for all the wonderful things you have given my father - his health, his mental acuity, his politics, his ultimate kindness, compassion, and caring.
And let me not fall short of being the kind of human being I might be; that the universe calls me to be; that I must be, lest I lose myself again to the quagmire of depression. If it be Thy will. AMEN.