A Supporting Role

One of the reasons I have been writing so little these days is that I am currently leading a very small existence. And a smaller existence does not typically lend itself to interesting adventures, misadventures, witty observations or deep philosophical epiphanies.

It has, however, offered a few “A-Ha” moments along the way.

A lot of language gets thrown around about our own personal “journeys” and how important and unique they are. And especially how we must make the MOST of OUR journey and do everything in our power to ensure that OUR journey is the BEST journey it can be. Stop by any newsstand these days, take a peek at the women’s magazines especially and you’ll see what I mean.

But last weekend as I reflected on my scaled-down activities as of late… the week now behind and the one that was in front of me, I got to thinking… maybe my existence isn’t always about MY journey like the world would have me believe. Maybe, at times, I am merely playing a part in another person’s journey. End of story.

The smaller existence I am referring to is that I currently have no “real” job offering me zilch when it comes to my own daily, defined purpose. There is no need to get things dry cleaned these days or to attempt the nitty-gritty navigatation of office politics. Since I am not around the water cooler or the break room, there are very few people to discuss the media circus and lunacy that is the presidential campaign or Snooki’s fitness for motherhood.

Currently my job—which I must mention, is one that I gladly volunteered for—has been to help provide and manage the care of my soon-to-be father-in-law in the wake of his wife’s sudden passing. And let me tell you that for me this is an entirely new experience. I have no children and have worked in an office all of my adult life… providing me ZERO experience in caring for another person.

This new experience includes (but is not necessarily limited to): Making repeated (often maddening and fruitless) phone calls to various outside entities designed to help in situations such as this one. Ensuring that he gets his medicine on time, all day, everyday. Making sure he eats or is offered some healthy food throughout the day. Keeping him company by sitting on the porch making small talk, petting the cats that he loves to feed and laughing about the things the neighbors do.

I know I’ve sort of stated this before, so forgive me if this post feels a bit redundant. I told you I didn’t have a lot to write about these days. But it did occur to me that this “season” in my life is not about me. The world teaches us that we must be the star of our own show — all the time. Well, I am here to tell you that this doesn’t appear to be the case.

Sometimes our name is NOT one that will appear at the top of the playbill. Sometimes there will be little, if any, applause. Sometimes ours is merely the role of supporting character… and the majority of our time will be spent behind the curtain.


12 thoughts on “A Supporting Role

  1. I admire you, Joanna. I know it can’t be an easy position and this is probably not where you imagined yourself post-move. The Universe has been known to throw a few curve balls at us, The Unsuspecting. However, your attitude is noble and enviable and humble. This is where you are meant to be (as nauseatingly cliche as that sounds) for right now. Good for you for choosing to look at this through compassionate eyes.

    • Thanks Paige. Yes, I know this is where I am “meant to be” right now and I do believe that everything happens for a reason. You are right, it isn’t where either of us (Lee or me)thought we would be right now. But that’s just life. Thanks again 🙂

  2. Great stuff! That is what scripture teaches but the world doesn’t want to know. The world would have us to believe that is all about us. But that is backwards and wrong. That doesn’t mean that we have to be doormats or have no life just that we should think of others a little more. The world would be a better place is more people did this. Just remember it’s only a season. In your case anyway. For some people it is a lifetime. Those are the people that we should do as much to help as we can. To offer them some relief, some respite from their toil. People who have children who have lifelong medical problems, family members who have had strokes, children who doing drugs etc. You are doing a good thing. More important than any job. You are a woman of worth.

    • Well Linda, thank you for making me cry 🙂 Just kidding. Thank you for your kinds words of encouragement as well as your two cents! You are so right about people who do this forever. I have a whole new appreciation for caregivers. God bless them. They REALLY know what it means to sacrifice and to take a back seat. Thank you so much.

  3. I am proud of you, daughter. Having spent 35 years as an elementary teacher and Sunday School teacher, I am reminded of a kids’ song…”Jesus and Others and You- What a wonderful Way to Spell JOY.” If we would get things in that order, we will have deep, lasting Joy. Love you.

  4. What a Wonderful way to help out your future father-in-law. I am sure he appreciates the support, care and having someone around. Have a Great Day and Enjoy Your New Role:)

  5. JT says:

    Joanna, perhaps you don’t feel there is much to write about… This is by far one of the most important posts you have written!

    • Awww… THANK YOU! No, it hs been difficult to take the time to write and I feel like my mind is tired from all of the events of the last 2 months that I don’t have the creative juice. I know it will return though. Thank you for the encouragement.

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