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How Many Times Can You Say Good-bye?
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We moved a lot when I was a child. I went to 21 different elementary schools, 2 junior high schools and 2 high schools. In high school I stayed at the same school for 3 years, thanks to the stability introduced by my stepfather, whom I loved dearly and who died much too young.

I learned not to make friends, because a few months later I had to say good-bye. I became shy, spending a lot of time alone, friendly with a few other children, but never making friends, the kind you love, sharing and playing and always doing stuff together. I knew the heartbreak of separation much too young and the fear of it is always with me.

In college I was two years younger than my classmates, still shy, and socially underdeveloped. It took several years to come out of my shell and develop the social ties that bring growth and love and community.

When I joined the church I belong to now, I felt I had found a home and made many dearly loved friends, just as I feel I have made extra special friends via the internet, journals and email.

It was hard this morning, having to say good-bye to my church friends/family. My husband is too sick to be left alone for more than a few minutes. I had to resign from all of my responsibilities, tell everyone I wouldn't be coming to services or group functions or meetings any more.

Saying good-bye is hard to do. Separation opens all those old wounds; the pain is incredible. If suicide weren't against my beliefs, I would do it.

I've hired someone to come and stay with him from midnight until 6 a.m. so I can get a little sleep. It's all I can afford, and that will use up my savings and probably put me into debt, but I have to get some sleep. I've just put in 48 hours of marathon minute-by-minute caregiving and I'm exhausted beyond my endurance. I have become my husband's disease, consumed by the voracious jaws of PD.

I'm writing right now, stealing a few minutes from caregiving, because it helps my sorrow and unhappiness to write this journal. I don't know if anyone reads or cares, but at least I have some place to write it down and ease the burden of my spirit, releasing it into the wild.

I wish I could get some sleep (and even when I sleep, I listen for his frequent cry for help). I wish I could run away. I wish this were all over with and done.

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