I went to a local retreat on Saturday that asked us to examine how we feel called to change. I said I want to grow, develop other sides of myself. I resist completely the idea that caregiving might be the side of myself I am called to develop, or at least the only one for this period of my life. Yet it is in some ways not my strength.
At Peace Church Sunday evening Susie preached a very moving sermon about God's love. John was in tears, and I put my arm around him. Paul was sitting on the other side of me and had earlier said he was low, so I also put my arm around him. It felt ok for a few minutes, but by the time we got up to receive communion I was crying hard, feeling that I am always giving, there is no one to hold me. (If I asked John to hold me he still would, though I don't know how long he would last before he thought of something he wanted or needed. But it wouldn't work for me because I am too aware of how much he needs from me.)
When I returned from communion I sat down in an empty seat next to Paul--I couldn't bear taking my place between John and Paul. And Paul patted my arm while I cried. We talked about it a little in the car driving home and he seemed pleased that he had known what I needed.