Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Now, if you have a kid in high school, you've heard about "Junior year." Junior year has incredibly intense classes, SAT and ACT prep and test taking, more responsibilities. The late nights of studying and increased homework were more frequent compared to the two years prior. By the time May came, even I was done with Junior year.
But then Senior year arrived. Not as heavy as a course load for the boy...the first test scores in...college list narrowed...and it seems now that time has been put on the button on your DirectTV remote that skips ahead 30 seconds. Yes, he's had cap and gown pictures. He has college acceptance letters. We smile! We're happy! But man, I cannot deny that I have a little girl inside of me whining and saying "Slow down! I don't want it to be here yet!"
Last Friday night was Mom's night at the football game. Moms get to wear their son's jersey and hang out on the field during warm ups and take photos. We can stay on the track all first half if we want to, although most of us prefer to watch from the stands. For the last three years this has been one of my favorite nights of varsity football season, no matter the outcome of the game. As I was looking at photos from this night, it hit me. I was looking at the picture of the Senior moms. These ladies...many of them are moms I have sat with under the fall Central Texas skies on many Thursday and Friday nights for the last six years. All of us have boys on the team who are playing their senior year of football.
I see you, football moms. You are cheering, loving, hoping, yelling, getting upset, jumping for joy after a great play, praying, trying to keep the knot in your stomach from making you sick, wishing the best for all of our boys out there, and finally...wondering how that baby boy of yours is out there in pads and a helmet playing that game. And I see you, senior moms, as the number of games we have left to watch our boys play together is getting smaller. We will enjoy every one.
In my mind I still have the inner little girl whining and throwing that fit for the fact I don't want things to end. But I have be able to let go enough to enjoy the incredible journey we're on. And know that I'd do it again! Again and again. Enjoy every day.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Through the scars on the vinyl..." - Eric Paslay
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
"...and occasionally he would just seem to disappear, as if the only way he could cope with the sensation (pain) was to absent himself from his own body." *
A few paragraphs later, same thing:
"Despite all this, Will did not complain. This was why it had taken me weeks to notice that he suffered at all. Now I could decipher the strained look around his eyes, the silences, the way he seemed to retreat inside his own skin. ... Sometimes he was in so much pain that his face actually leached color, turning to pale putty. Those were the worst days."*
And then a couple of chapters later, again.
I love to read, not that I have much time to read for pleasure. When I do, a warning comes to my family in which they know clean laundry will become a mountain in the laundry basket and dishes won't get done unless they do those things themselves. Also, sandwiches or cereal may be the dinner choices a few nights in a row. If you're lucky, a frozen pizza. :)
Yes...in the second to last full week of school, I decided to start a book, because there wasn't enough going on! I finished in four days. Many of you have probably read this story, as it released in 2012 and is now a movie releasing in a few days. Going into it, I knew the premise of the story of "Me Before You"...what I didn't realize was that it would strike such a chord in me.
Do I live with a person who is quadriplegic? No.
Do I question the value of one's life based on their physical abilities? No.
Do I live in a small English town with a castle sitting in the middle of it? Ahem, far from it.
Have I been a caregiver to a man I love, trying to make his life good and worth every minute he's around, trying to balance the man-vs-patient, caregiver-vs-wife, "independent grown man"-vs- "so desperately needing help", all while moving forward with the life that's happening around us? YES.
Things with his health lately have been status quo and most people that just see him around right now probably think nothing's really wrong with that man. Bad days, better days, and all the in-between. Although I say it cautiously, no hospital stays in over a year. But where we have been is not a distant memory, and what he lives with every day would put most of us in bed for weeks.
Whatever life brings, I hope and pray each of us value each day. That's what I seem to always come to in this blog: appreciate the life you have today. Appreciate those around you, even if they are getting on your very last nerve and cause you to do things like finish a pint of ice cream or a bag of caramel corn. :)
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up with the time comes." Matthew 6:34
* from "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes, Chapter 7, pages 102, 103
Monday, February 23, 2015
Down on my hands and knees on the kitchen floor, it was evident I hadn’t mopped in a while. Sweeping gets done daily, but gross….the floor was gross. Still in my scrubs from the workday, dinner was started on the stove as I found myself down on the ground searching for pills. The med box had been filled for the week, but then he accidentally dropped it, sending every one of the 120+ pills bouncing around the kitchen. The girls quickly jumped up from the couch to help me with the search and rescue mission so daddy didn’t have to get down on the floor. After moving appliances and all, all pills were recovered, and only two pricey casualties were counted. Not bad.
The night prior while driving home on dark, country roads after a basketball game, a game that had the worse officiating everever ever, a deer decided to run into the side of our van. No injuries (human, anyway), no true damage to the automobile. Arriving home, the girls ran in to ready for bed, Seth was riding back with his team…but what was that humming sound? Searching revealed the dishwasher full of dirty water, the humming from the pump that wasn’t working. Or maybe it was doing what it was supposed to do, who knows. This was after the disposal had been replaced earlier in the day, and apparently a step had been forgotten, ignored, disregarded, etc. (guess you can’t skip any steps in the instructions) All the stuff from under the kitchen sink was still in a box across the room. That was good, because water under the sink is much easier to clean up if all the bottles of cleaners and box of trash bags are not under there. I had done that a couple of times recently.
Finally getting to bed after picking Seth up from the high school, I looked at Chad’s knee. It was obvious he’d been doing a little too much the last few days. When a knee resembles a cantaloupe, along with the pre-existing extensive vascular issues in the same limb, it equals something that looks pretty yucky and painful. He didn’t dish any guilt out at all but the feeling found it’s way to me anyway, as I felt maybe I’d had him do too much lately.
After these two days, I considered a move to Australia. Maybe Alexander had something there. :) I had been down for a few days with fever, coughing up at least one lung, and producing more mucous than a basketball arena could hold. And you know what happens when mom is sick. Despite their best efforts…you know. You just know. (by the way, spend a dollar extra for the tissues with Vicks in them…they are life-changing!)
All things considered, these were all minor and temporary inconveniences. Other than the health-issues-dealt-with-by-the-elderly-and-us, the things that caused stress those few days are all resolved now. The kids are happy and smart and healthy and have met their reading goals for the 6-weeks(ALL three of them). The floor got mopped and the dishwasher still works. Got all the deer fur off the wheel well. Laundry never ends. No leak under the sink right now.
Moms, nurses, and generally anyone who lives with a chronically ill person are not supposed to be sick. Saying “my cough is keeping me up at night” doesn’t compare to his over-stimulated nervous system that leaves him with countless sleepless nights. (NICU pals, think of a preemie…they get too much external stimulus and it freaks their nervous system out….same with the 40-year old non-preemie at our house) No! You’re the keeper of the schedules, the chauffeur, the chef, the organizer, the alarm clock, the cheerleader, and you never feel like you have a justifiable reason to complain of anything hurting or aching. And that’s just normal every day around here.
A friend of mine is leading a somewhat similar life to mine,although they have very recently been dealing with her husband experiencing another serious health scare. Her kids are a little younger than mine, but there are many similarities. Discussing the fact that the issues we deal with are more often dealt with by people a few decades older than us, she simply stated, “we’re just early to the dance.” I’m rarely early for anything but work and school. But I love the way that’s stated.
We often talk about God’s timing and perseverance with the kids and each other. There are ups and downs and good days and bad days. When you have the normal every day bumps, and add the old-man-in-a-young-man’s-body issues, it just adds a different twist. I guess we are just early to the Golden Oldies dance! Wonder if they have those in Australia? :)
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Saturday, December 20, 2014
You bring healing to my soul
Monday, October 13, 2014
Surely that only happened to me with my kids. (actually I like to remember that behavior only happened once with each kid...then they knew better and waited until we got to the car ;) )
But that's what I want to do sometimes!
That's not what we're supposed to do, darn it. Although we all have come into contact with those adults who can't get past throwing tantrums, we're supposed to be the responsible adult that handles all the yuck...with great expectation from those around who are watching. That's almost more daunting than the yuck itself. Who is watching? The people in my house, of course. Anyone else? What will they see? Are they just waiting for me to mess up? If I lay down and whine and wallow in the mess of life, will it affect them? They're going to learn. From me.
Who do I learn from? I learned an incredible amount from my parents. (thank the good Lord I was blessed with the two best parents ever) Learned a lot from my six awesome siblings, all of whom came-prior-in-line-of-succession, as dad would say.
Trying hard to learn from my heavenly Father. Easier said than done. It's easier sometimes to act like the kid throwing the tantrum. To dig my heels in the ground and demand my own way.
This is Molly Kate. Molly Kate is almost two.
Just like Molly Kate is using her Daddy's power to stand up straight, look forward, and move ahead, I must keep in mind to harness myself to my Heavenly Daddy in order to move in the best way possible. That means trust. That means even when I want to crumple up in a defiant whine, he won't let me. If I use my Father's power, it is possible to keep from doing just that.
No matter the expectations that myself and others have for me, because I will mess up, this must be the choice. Things won't always go as planned. Life will have obsticles and I'll get lazy. Lately I've so wanted to not keep my eyes up, to use my own power, to take care of it on my own. But the overwhelming truth is that I can't. Not on my own.