N's father is in declining health and a recent discovery confirmed it; he is in his last months of life. Also suddenly my son's anxiety has been racheted up after something triggered it out of the blue. The timing couldn't be worse as we are set to go away down to Mexico for N's 50th birthday celebration.
This trip has been booked for months and the turn of events have put a damper on the mood.
Life has a way of surprising you as we ride its fickle ups and downs. Upon reflecting one week away will not have much of an impact on either scenario and yet we are still distracted by the sudden events.
We are so governed by guilt and as parents ourselves or as children of ageing parents we want to take away all of their burdens and put them on ourselves. Sadly we cannot but I know my own struggles have shaped who I am and I wouldn't change them.
I told my son that I was proud of him and that he would come out better on the other side. It's easy for a 53 year old with many more years of life experience to say that to a 16 year old but he will need to see for himself. He is an intelligent and considerate young man with a good head on his shoulders and I am very proud of him.
As for N's father he has lived a long life and at some point some infirmity catches up to us. The trick now is to make his remaining time as peaceful and pain free as possible
Life doesn't come with an instruction manual and we learn on the job. Somehow I am not sure I'd have it any other way.