While I am stunned by joy at the blessedness of my life, the contrast between my own experience and that of some of my clients is sometimes overwhelming. I have a client who is having one of those times in her life that leaves me as a compassionate bystander reeling. In the past six months:
Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Her dad was in a serious trucking accident and had to be hospitalized on the other side of the state.
Her developmentally disabled daughter's behavior got unmanageable at home and she went to live in a group home. A short time after she moved in, the group home provider, who should never have been licensed, behaved inappropriately with clients, and the home was closed. Another placement could not be found in the entire state.
She found out her mother's cancer had spread to her bones.
After only a few months at home, her daughter lost all her caregivers due to an administrative mess-up, and my client, who by then was also taking her mom for chemo, became totally responsible for her care.
The engine in their van blew up.
Her husband, who two years ago had a kidney transplant, collapsed at work and had to be rushed to the hospital with a potentially serious kidney infection. He did recover, but for a few days it looked as if he might lose the kidney.
She found out her mother's cancer had spread to her brain.
Yesterday, while watching her mother, who is now having seizures (due to the radiation treatments she has to drive her for two hours for every day) she was served with a warrant for her arrest. it seems that she had lost a library book a while ago, and what with everything else that has been going on, it slipped her mind to go in and pay the $12.99 she owed them. She was supposed to appear in court a few weeks back as she had been charged with "theft of library materials" as a result. That was the week they found out about the brain cancer. She forgot to go. Now she's a fugitive. And she owes the library $200.
This lovely young woman was abused by her grandfather from the age of five through her teens. She came to therapy to deal with that. We haven't had a lot of time to get there as life keeps getting in the way. All I can do is be there for her as she tries to cope with the stuff of her life. One thing after another. I hope it's enough.