Last year, when my much younger cousin said she wanted to come for a visit with her young daughter, I didn’t give it much thought because they are cousins from a favoured branch of my family tree with whom I enjoy spending my time. When I agreed that they could come, she immediately started scouring the internet for flights she could afford. As soon as she found one, she booked it and there was no going back.
However, as the day of their arrival approached, my anxiety level increased. What was I thinking inviting them – or anyone for that matter – to come stay with me when I know how limited my activity levels can be because of my pain? How am I supposed to handle daily outings to my city’s tourist magnets when some days I can barely handle going from my couch to my kitchen? Not to mention my body’s intolerance of high heat and the back-to-back weather warnings we’ve been getting because of extreme heat over the past few weeks.
Well, the year flew by and they arrived from overseas for their two-week visit yesterday afternoon. When I saw them walk out of the baggage claim area I was so excited to see them that the anxiety that had built up in me was forgotten. I gave my cousin’s little girl a huge hug, then embraced my cousin tightly. It was four years since I last saw them – not including our frequent video calls. It feels good to have them here, in my home, with me. I have activities planned to cover the span of time that they are here, but I’ve included rest days to make sure I don’t overdo it and land in the ER because of my eagerness to make sure they have a good time.
I know my cousin’s main reason for wanting to visit was to spend time with me regardless of my health, but I don’t want them to go home feeling disappointed in any way because of my limited ability do things. I also don’t want to have to resort to sending them out on their own every day or with people they hardly know because I’m in too much pain to move after a few hours out and about. These are some of the many thoughts that contribute to my anxiety. There are more – worse thoughts – but writing them all down means thinking about them, and I much prefer thinking about two of my favourite people in the world being here, just to hang out with me, for two weeks.
“Fly Away” – Lenny Kravitz