I think I can. I say this to myself a lot. I think I can. Just a little engine trudging up the mountain, giving it all I got. I think I can. I think I can be strong for my family to lean on me. I think I can maintain this old house and make room in it for another grandchild until she is able to have a place of her own. I think I can care for a one year old while her mom attends classes. Oh, my goodness I hope I can! I think I can stretch the budget to include some of what we want as well as all that we need.
I think I can manage the care of my mother-in-law as she declines in her old age. I even think I can handle my own advancing age as it comes along.
I don’t always think I can. Many things are beyond me, even with my best effort. I already know that I cannot take care of this house and yard if my husband is not here or should not be able. I think I will manage to sell it all and go elsewhere.
My mind settled on this phrase today when I was driving alone and crying my heart out, screaming even, because I miss my daughter. For a moment I didn’t think I could pull myself together and get myself home. But I did. I always do. When the doctors called us into a room to explain that Teri would not wake up again I repeated over and over as we walked down the hall to the room where she lay unconscious, I can do this. I can do this. So I did because I had to. I held her hand and talked to her softly as the machines showed a steadily slowing heartbeat. When it stopped I turned to my husband and her children to comfort them and I telephoned her brother to inform him. I did what I had to do because I think I can.
I think I can live happily most of the time. I think I will be able to handle whatever comes next. I think I can because to think I cannot is just to damn scary.