After three days in a complete sneezing-infested slump, I had a very helpful chat with one of my closest friends. I told her how I am at odds with everything and she suggested I actually journal on the blog. I know I have done some of that already, but I am to the point where I am actually going to label the entries as such. If you are person who only checks the blog for updates on Reece, you can assume a “journal entry” is more about my own personal feelings and read no further, if you prefer. If you are someone who is feeling judgmental about why I would choose to publish journal entries, I invite you to check out my previous post entitled, “51 Things I Hope I Never Do Again” and ponder #11. For some reason, airing some things out over the blog has helped me move past them and I am hoping it will continue to do the same. I never promised this blog to be an upbeat, light-hearted read. Never did the purpose state “to leave the reader feeling good” or did it offer a pick-me-up to your day. If I was a reader of this blog, there would be days where I would prematurely close out the entries to avoid the heaviness of it. If it’s a heavy read to you, you can imagine what it feels like to keep it inside, all bottled up. So here we go…
I went on a walk around Lake Harriet today to get my body moving, get some fresh air, and get my sinuses cleared out. This winter has been awesome as far as weather, so being around the lake felt normal and refreshing. My Ipod pulled up my new favorite song, “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Walk Off the Earth. Great song–it’s actually all about breaking off a relationship with someone. Being happily married, I can’t relate so much to that part of it at this stage of my life, but the harmonization is great and I love the sound of male/female duets. As I was chatting about the song with my friend, she asked me if the song spoke to this time of my life at all. I told her no, but after we got off the phone, I realized I was entirely wrong. That song actually hits home in the way I feel about life in general right now. I can’t go back to the way things were and I really loved the way things were, but that isn’t our reality anymore. It has some similarities to the feeling of breaking up with someone–even though you care about someone, you have to go your separate ways. Everything seems so off from my family being split apart, to our house feeling empty, to the way I feel being pregnant and cumbersome in my own body. It makes sense that the song resonates with me. And in some way, I knew that things were about to change before everything came crashing down last fall, just like you do when you know someone is about to break up with you or you need to break things off with them.
I knew last summer when I was starting to plan the MOPS year with my good friend, Tammy, that there were big changes in the wind for our family. It manifested in a very unsettling feeling about my coordinating the MOPS year with her. It had nothing to do with her or my personal ability to do it–it was more an uneasy feeling that I wouldn’t be able to meet the commitment due to something unforeseen. I remember telling her, “I can tell there are big things in store for my family this year.” This was after I found out I was pregnant, so I was sensing it was more than that, but trying to not read too much into it.
Then, within the course of a 48-hour period, both our pastor’s sermon and our bible study lecture were about letting God take the “wheel” in life and allowing Him to be in control. I knew this was something I needed to do and during my prayer time, I asked Him to do this for me or at least point out the areas where I was failing to do so. These messages were given only a couple of weeks before our fateful Urgent Care visit. So when this whole blood-testing thing started gaining momentum, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t going to be an easy road, but it was a road we would be walking down. It doesn’t mean I don’t stop, turn around, and longingly look back at the path we came from and want to return to it. I was hoping the whole “allowing-God-to-be-in-control thing” would be a more gradual transition, but He basically booted me over to the passenger side, jumped in the driver’s seat, and slammed on the gas. Now I feel like a parent who is teaching their teenager to drive and yelling, “Are you CRAZY!?!” while they speed down the highway. Only God isn’t crazy and He is the Parent, so I guess there is nothing to do but hold on and trust Him that we’ll make it there in one piece.
Thankfully, I have a couple of things that are keeping me sane. First, I am pregnant, which requires that I take care of myself. As I would do anything I could for any of my kids, so I would do that for myself to help one of them out–if that makes sense. Eating well, sleeping, exercising–it has to happen to stay healthy and to keep the baby well.
Second, I have a very active and engaging almost-two-year-old, who pulls us out from the seriousness of Reece’s situation and back to the reality of the rest of life. Here’s a picture of Britta from a few weeks back after we took her to The Egg and I for breakfast.
What a little monkey she is and she brings us such joy! Of course, she has changed a lot since Reece was admitted to the hospital–she talks a lot more, shows bigger emotions…she is close to two and it is shining through. I am so grateful that we do have her as an anchor in life to balance things out and force us to be normal with her. She isn’t old enough to understand what is going on and I find that to generally be helpful. She doesn’t ask questions about the situation, she behaves the way she would no matter what is going on.
Third, I married the right person; he’s an awesome husband. Early on in this journey, someone actually e-mailed me with the best of intentions to warn me about how marriages can fall apart during times like this. I was
a bit put off by the e-mail, but I know they meant well in saying this to me. (That whole rule stating if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all…brilliant advice!) Yes, we have had some trying moments and said some things in stress-related arguing. That, however, has been pretty minimal. The truth is, we have had bigger disagreements about things of much lesser importance. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but I have found in some of our most stressful life moments, we have been able to put our differences aside and come together to support each other. I would go so far as to say this circumstance has brought us closer together. Every storm we weather together binds us closer. As humans, we look for similarities in others that we can relate to as a way to form friendships. How is it any different in a marriage? Things will either eat at you and rot your relationship or you endure them and share an even closer bond than before. He has taken the overnights (with some relief from my mom) at the hospital without complaint. He has rearranged his work schedule and not asked questions. He manages to balance our budget and finances so that I don’t feel stressed about them. And–this is a big one–he listens to all of my yapping without (well, with very little) complaint. Yes, he is the person I want to experience all of life with–I am so grateful that painful endings in other relationships led me to him.
Fourth, I have a strong support network of family and friends. They are awesome. My parents, Terry’s parents, my aunt, my extended family, my dear friends, and all the people from all over the place lifting up Reece and our family.
Lastly (but definitely not least), I have hope that my son will pull out of this, that he will heal and be restored. That he will live a normal life again.
And where is my faith in God in all of this? It’s there. Just chillin’. It is safe to say that I don’t “get it” as far as where this is all going. I know God is near and aware. I find myself scanning the room at times and envisioning where exactly He is at. I just don’t get it and when I get to Heaven someday, I have some big questions for Him. I hope I get some answers before then, though.