Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Stuck on Scared

on October 9, 2013


I haven’t been myself lately…my sense of humor has fled, my optimism has disappeared and my hopes are dim.  No one sees this…I’m quite good at hiding my fears but I realized this morning that I am stuck on being scared.

Danny’s recent close call was the second in eighteen months. The other day the fact that he might not be with me for the rest of my life slapped me in the face.  I can’t shake the fear of losing him…it has grabbed hold and won’t let go.

Most of you know that we aren’t married…but we’ve been together, through the good times and the bad, for twelve years.  He’s the first man that I’ve met that I wanted to grow old with.  But, this might not happen…and I don’t know what I would do without him.

He doesn’t seem to be coming back from this last bout of bad health…and he knows it.  He spends a lot of time staring off in the distance, or talking about the arrangements he has made to ensure I will be taken care of in the event he leaves me.

I don’t want to hear these things, I want to make plans for the future.

I’m scared that I’m not doing enough for him or that I’m not doing the right things that would bring his health back to what it was.  I feel useless and weak at times as I watch his strength diminish.

His sister asks me how he’s doing…I tell her fine, because that what he wants me to say.  I want to shout, “I don’t know and I’m scared.”  But, I don’t.  I assure her and tell her that Danny will get strong again and be with us for a very long time.

I know this fear is temporary…I’m a fighter…I won’t give up.  And, I’m not going to let Danny give up either.  Together we will conquer his health issues…but, today, in my heart of hearts, I’m stuck on scared.

Thanks for listening.



40 responses to “Stuck on Scared

  1. mcwoman says:

    Mary Ellen – I’m sorry that Danny is failing. Having to face at some point in the near future you will be a part forever is a hard fact for any couple to face. If anyone can will him to health, it is you, but sometimes we have to do our best for our love ones and then let God take over. I will pray for both of you. Barbara

  2. grannyK says:

    That type of fear is the worst, because it makes you feel so helpless. For me, the trick is to try very hard to not let hopelessness set in. I hope Danny’s health issues get resolved and your life is smooth again. Hang in there!

  3. joannesisco says:

    How very sad. I know exactly what you mean when you say you are ‘stuck on scared’. It’s a dark feeling and difficult to shake. I hope this is just a temporary stage and you both turn that corner soon. My thoughts are with you.

    • M E McMahon says:

      Thanks so much. We’re both strong willed people so I know that we will fight this together. It’s just that some days I feel overwhelmed and downright scared!

      It was cathartic just to let it out…thanks for listening.

  4. TamrahJo says:

    [[hugs]] I know this fear you speak of – for me, it disappeared when I focused everything I had on the loved one – and spent the days grateful for one more opportunity to fetch, carry, massage, feed and care for. When I learned to put what they wanted over what I wanted – When I learned the greatest gift I could give was sitting quietly by their side and sharing the journey – where ever it was leading.

    This is not to say all went perfectly – but I know, from the depths of my heart that being given the time, whether long or short, to engage in fully loving, is a gift that transcends the fear of loss.

    Whether your fears are founded or not, does not matter – what actions they inspire you to, does!

    With all manner of hugs, loves and best wishes –

    • M E McMahon says:

      You are so right…it’s just that sometimes I feel I’m not doing enough. Just having a bad day!

      • TamrahJo says:

        I’m certain you are doing what you can – May this bad day morph into a better one tomorrow! I can’t count the times I’ve laid down at night with the prayer on my lips.

        “Thank you for the strength and grace to get somehow navigate this day and thanks for letting it be over now”


        hugs and loves to you

      • M E McMahon says:

        I’m not sure my reply went through…so I’ll repeat it. I printed out that prayer..I’m not a praying person but I think the mindset is what I need.

        Thanks and hugs back!

  5. tric says:

    Two weeks ago we nearly lost my little warrior. His life teetered on the edge and the doctors were as they said themselves “very very worried”. (never a good thing to hear). We were distraught. Now two weeks later he is showing great signs of recovery, but as you can well imagine we are very stuck on scared.
    The other day my friend, this boys mum, reminded me that last year I had a breast lump which had to be investigated. My sister and three first cousins all got breast cancer in the last few years so I was concerned. At the time my friend said “Wait and see, who knows who’ll be really sick in the next year”. As it turned out I was okay but her little boy got leukemia.
    Why tell you all this? Because none of us know our future, only our present. If you are stuck on scared, so too is Danny. Hopefully in time he will feel better and get his confidence back,, but live today and in time hopefully you can relax a bit, or come to terms with uncertainty.

  6. barbtaub says:

    What can a friend say to this (very real and reasonable) state of mind? It seems like you’d have to be heartless NOT to feel this way. So I’ll just keep you and Danny in my thoughts and prayers. (And hope his sister doesn’t read this blog!)

    • M E McMahon says:

      She, like Danny, doesn’t even know how to turn a computer on…so I’m safe!

      I felt better the moment I pushed the “Publish” button. Sometimes, you’ve just got to face your feelings and move on!

      Thanks for your kind words, Barb.

  7. Bastet says:

    Ah Mary Ellen, I know these moments can’t be shooed away, reality won’t let us hide from them. But we do have an inner strength that helps us and those around us to live each moment fully, basically doing as you did today, looking the fear in the eyeball and admitting it’s there…from there you go on. You and Danny are in my thoughts and a hug to you my dear friend.

  8. mewhoami says:

    I’m sorry for how you’re feeling. It is a scary and saddening thing to think about. All I can say, is to make the most of every day. Don’t forget to cherish every moment you have with him, so that when the time does come (for either of you), you’ll have good memories to look back on and not regrets of wasted time.

    • M E McMahon says:

      That’s how I get through day after day. For some reason, the other day, I just got overwhelmed at the thought of losing him! It will pass and he has no idea that I’m frightened.

  9. Gwen Stephens says:

    Oh, Crank I’m so sorry. I know there’s nothing I can say here that can ease your fears or even make you feel better. If you feel in your heart this could be “it” for him, don’t let a second go by. Make the most of every moment you have together. I’ll say a prayer for you. xo

    • M E McMahon says:

      I’m not sure which way his health is going to go…day by day, I’m just winging it and trying my best to hope that the next day will be better.

      I think the realization that we won’t always be together just hit me…I’m calming down little by little and we do have another Dr.’s appt next week. If he’s not vastly improved…I want an explanation.

      Thanks for your prayers, my friend!

  10. John says:

    “Stuck on scared…” very descriptive and relatable. I’ve definitely been there. I’ll save the “everything will work out fine” cliches, and, instead, I’ll send you a wish: a light to guide you through the fear. The light’s there already, within you — it’s obvious in so many of your posts. I wish that you find the light again soon, and find the fear behind you — you want to be able to enjoy every moment with Danny, to fully be in every moment with him, and fear will keep you from that enjoyment. Also, I wish your soul some peace, and your mind some humor …

    Be well, Cranky…

  11. btg5885 says:

    Mary Ellen, if i may call you that. I always feel uncomfortable calling you Grandma. The only thing I can say is find small ways and even big ways to remind him that you are both still together and have life to live. Every moment we have is precious, especially when you have your soul mate with you. It will sound very trite, but it may be time for some road trips or small daily excursions if he cannot travel far. I see Valerie Harper advocating living her life until she cannot. All, the best. BTG

    • M E McMahon says:

      I hope this weekend to go to Lowe’s and get some plants we’ve been talking about putting in the yard. Danny loves new projects that brighten up the house and while I’ll do the intensive labor, like digging small holes and plopping plants in…he’ll be in charge of watering. Seems when we watch plants rise from seedlings…it reminds us of new life and cheers us up.

      Hey, Mary Ellen or Cranky…whatever works BTG. thanks for you’re kind thoughts!

  12. mummyshymz says:

    All of the comments above have so eloquently said what needed to be said. So I’ll just offer you a hug instead. Take care.

  13. bittygirl51 says:

    Sorry to hear you are having a bad day, but commend you for your honesty and candor. I am a born again believer and it is the solace I have when I’m suffering. I am confident in knowing that I will see Granny again when I reach Heaven and am thankful for that. I also know what it’s like to know you’ve found your life’s love once and for all and how horrible it would be to be without him. My hubby and I have been together 15 years after suffering miserably in previous marriages. We are soul-mates. I get frustrated when he doesn’t take care of himself because I want him to live longer than I do so I don’t have to be the one to mourn his loss but rather he mine.

    Know that I will be praying for both you and Danny on the bad days as well as the good days.
    Thanks for sharing a very private part of yourself.

  14. Not quite 40 says:

    That is so SO hard. It is the not knowing that is hardest, I guess. The hope, the realisation that *one day* you will not be together, but the hope that it won’t be any time soon, with the scaredness that it might be. All mixed in together. Hugs. (If you want to try something new, I can recommend a homeopath who may work remotely. She has had some frighteningly amazingly unbelievable results, else I would not recommend her.)

    • M E McMahon says:

      I had a bad couple of days, but now stuffed that fear down and grabbed my old optimism out of the dark so things are better now.

      Thanks for your kind words. I mentioned homeopath to our primary doc and he firmly said…NO..NO WAY! And, Danny listens to him more than me so thanks for the heads up but I doubt Danny would go along with it!

      • Not quite 40 says:

        I am surprised by such vehemence from a doc. Usually if they disagree it is because they don’t believe it works and think you are wasting your time. But it is Danny’s choice. I can only offer what I have seen and hope to be helpful, as can we all. (You can always ask her for a session YOURSELF to help you deal with life in all its myriad of complexities!)

      • M E McMahon says:

        Good suggestion…thanks!

  15. Aurora says:

    Optimism isn’t always easy to come by. You know my fears lately are for a different reason. I do however remember feelings similar to yours well from when my dad was sick the year before he passed. I know it isn’t easy, but don’t give up, and cherish the days you do have together, even if they end up being far fewer than you had hoped for. Hugs to you.

  16. Sallyann says:

    Hey, it’s ok to be scared. I expect Danny is scared too. But don’t let scared stop you from enjoying the time you have left together. And here’s hoping that time is still going to be a long one.

    • M E McMahon says:

      Just had a bad couple of days. I think I’m frustrated that Danny’s not making a lot of progress energy wise since the ulcer showed up. But, as you say, I’m just trying to make each day full for him and I too hope it will be for a long time!

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