Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday: Attempting 'Normal'

One of the first things I notice is the dog’s water bowl is bone dry. 

Being gone for three weeks and leaving my family to “run the show” while I’m away wouldn’t have been easy if it had been for anyone else but Grandma.  Within 24 hours of learning she was in too much pain for our weekly phone call, I was packed and on my way….traveling over 1200 miles while reminding myself to have faith that God would watch over my family….praying that at least the most important tasks from day to day would be accomplished.


After being home for a day and a half, I’m still spending my time busy with the little things that haven't been done because it simply doesn’t occur to others to do them.  Wiping down the ledge around the bathroom vanity, the back splash behind the stove, covering up the blemishes on our used couch with blankets, opening the windows to let in fresh air in the morning, emptying the lint from the dryer…..

And then I see the things that were “on my list” before my daily life was interrupted….a pile of blankets still waiting to be washed, papers still needing to be filed and clothes still waiting to be hung back up in the closet.   

I sit down and began open 21+ days of mail that was carefully stacked and awaiting my return.

I thought it would be easier being home.

I think about all the phone calls, texts and emails I should be making to people who want “updates”... but I can’t bring myself to do it.  I don’t have good news.  I’m just exhausted and I don’t know how to be positive anymore.  And I don’t want to tell the truth over and over.  It’s emotionally draining to rehash, and even though I know everyone is just being caring and thoughtful….I can’t bring myself to do it.  There is too much to do….to catch up on and life didn’t wait for me. It kept going.....and I have to jump right back on this ride, like it’s all in the past and I can get right back to normal; like I’m the same person I always was and I fixed everything and all is well.

The truth is, things are worse than ever and I didn’t fix one  stinking thing.

Now I am home, and have promised to run both households as best I can.  Grandma is still in extreme pain and has no one to consistently care for her so she remains afraid and overwhelmed with worry. 

The people I was counting on to “step up” and “do the right thing”….didn’t and aren’t.

* * *

The first thing I did when I got home was give the dog a bath and wash the pile of blankets from my bed she had been sleeping on in a matted mess on the floor  while I was gone.  It was apparent from the smell, she hadn’t been getting her medicine to treat her systemic yeast infection and that couldn't wait until morning. 

Next, I took a shower.  A nice, hot shower using my own soap and shampoo that don’t have all the chemicals that make me itch and swollen and sick.  You wouldn’t think using a handheld shower head mounted to the side of a tub to rinse off would be that different than a typical shower…..but it really is. 


Then I checked my kid’s pill cases, and I see that there are some days they missed their vitamins and supplements….one of which is for their thyroid and can cause a lot of health problem if it’s missed.  I check all the bottles and notice many are empty and I start a list for when I go into town the next day.  This reminds me that I had to cancel an appointment with Tristen’s doctor while I was gone, and I have an email with a list of lab work and additional supplements he needs to be on to help support his unique genetics.  I wonder how I am going to pay for all of it, after spending so much money while I was away.




Whenever Grandma asked me how my family was doing without me, I always smiled and told her they were doing “great”.  They really were.  Josh worked so hard to get the grocery shopping done every Wednesday after work and make dinner every night and smoothies almost every day.  Tanner worked 3 or 4 nights a week and Josh would take him and pick him up.  They made home-made dog food for our sick dog.  Whenever I talked to them, they were happy and positive and doing well.  I was very grateful for that.

I didn’t tell her my worries.  I wished Josh took the boys to church.  I didn’t tell her I was missing out on going with Tanner to a summer overnight activity with his friends when I agreed to stay 10 more days.  I didn’t tell her it was killing me inside to see her in excruciating pain on a constant basis and some days I didn’t know how I would survive it.  Because it’s Grandma.  My favorite person.  And she would do it for me.  I owed her that and more.



My emotions are still too raw to go deep into detail today.  Although my husband and kids promised me a few days to relax and recuperate when I got home, there is too much to be done. I pay most of our bills on the first of the month and the additional responsibility to care for Grandma’s finances adds to my ever expanding “list”.  Life goes on.   It doesn’t wait for trials and struggles to pass and give you time to catch your breath. They exist and so do you simultaneously. So instead of holding tight, gritting my teeth and waiting for this craziness to end….I have to keep moving.  I have to keep living, and doing and being.  One moment at a time.  And after I survive it….I will conquer the next moment.  Until then, I will survive on silver linings an faith in a merciful God who loves his children.