What Happens When Mom Gets Sick?

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What happens when Mom gets sick? Same thing as everyday. She gets up and takes care of the same things she always does. There are no sick days or breaks. There is only the normal routine but doing it feeling terrible.

But what happens when it’s more than just sick? What happens when you really need to be out for the count?

I recently broke a tooth. It had a crack and I knew that it was going to go someday, but I chose to ignore it. Not just because I am Mom, but because I am terrified of Dentists. I don’t just mean kind of nervous. I mean full blown shaking and hyperventilating, with crying and throwing up kind of terrified. I don’t know why exactly. Something in my childhood probably. I have blanked out every visit to the dentist I’ve ever had. I used to be able to handle going. I was scared but not too bad. Then as the years progressed it’s gotten worse. Last time I went, I had to take a Valium before going and one again while I was there. But this time, it was the worst.

I went in to have them see what was going on with my tooth. I almost ran out of the waiting room. When I did get back to the actual room, I started to shake. I made it almost through the X-ray before starting to cry and hyperventilate. I never made it to the actual examination. I freaked out completely and they told me they would have to sedate me to do anything. That involved a “trial run” of the sedation because I react strangely to drugs.

For most people this wouldn’t be a big thing. They just get a family member to help and all is good. I, however, have a complicated life. First of all the only family that is around here is my kids. Granted my daughter is 17 and she could help me but I didn’t want to put the whole thing on her shoulders. Not only watching me but having to take care of her autistic brother at the same time.  My husband would be the logical choice. I would have to make the appointment for when he was going to be home,  but he works away from home for 6 weeks at a time. That kind of made it hard to schedule.

Eventually, I got the appointment and we went in for the work. I was praying for them to do the work if the sedation worked so I didn’t have to wait another six weeks for the next appointment. Thank God they did. My face is sore but the work is done. I’m not really sure what they did. I guess I have a crown, whatever that means. (Like I said I blank out any dentist appointments. )

Good thing my husband was there. I was at the dentist from 7 am until 2:30 pm then went home and slept until 5:30 pm. How could I have done it without him? By the evening, everyone’s tempers were getting short because my son was being difficult. He didn’t understand why mom wasn’t there. Mom is the one constant in his life. Mom is never gone or sick. He wasn’t completely awful, but he didn’t handle it well either.

No one really realized how important Mom is until Mom goes down. I’m not saying that Dad isn’t important because he is. I’m just saying that families rely heavily on Mom always being there and always being functional. It is hard on everyone when Mom goes down. SO go and hug your mom and tell her you appreciate her then give her a day off. You will all be better for it. Kind of like an emergency preparedness drill.

Silence is a Great Healer

I found a writing prompt that said weave a story around this sentence: Silence is a great healer. So here it is…

Silence is a Great Healer.

She closed her eyes and breathed in slowly through her nose. Even the musty damp air of the basement seemed fresh, like the first breath on a crisp winter morning. For a moment she just stood there, listening.

It was so quiet.

It was so quiet she could hear nothing. Finally, she could hear nothing.

With some difficultly she swallowed, a rush of emotion struck her chest. It was such a swirl of feelings that it almost drowned out the silence shrouding the tiny side room. She put her hand out to the cold hard wall of the foundation and opened her eyes. The cold seeped into her hand making it ache. It always ached where the old break was. She blinked away the unnecessary tears as she stared at her crooked little finger. There had been no silence in the house that day.

She stopped and listened again savoring the absence. Then, sighing, she began to work again. Her bruised ribs throbbed with each shovel full of dirt. Every time she thrust the shovel into the floor of the basement it jarred her bruises. But with every joyous ache she came closer and closer to being free. To being healed. To finally bringing silence to this house.

When the hole was nearly waist deep, she stopped. Slowly, wincing with every movement, she climbed out of the hole. She hobbled over to where the sheet wrapped body of her husband lay. Sweating with the effort, she pushed and rolled him closer to the hole. Pushing inch by inch, foot by foot until finally he rolled over the edge and fell in.

Panting she looked down. He lay there at the bottom like some seed in the garden. She scoffed out a little laugh thinking how much he had hated her garden and how many times he had beat her for keeping it growing. Now he was the last seed she would plant at this house, and from his grave would grow peace and safety.

She began to scoop the dirt back into the hole one painful shovel full at a time. But the pain was only physical this time, her soul was free. It took less time to fill the hole than it had to make it. She stopped one last time leaning on the shovel and listened.

She heard nothing. She smiled. The violence that screamed constantly through every wall and floor of this house was finally silent and silence was a great healer.

Spending our Anniversary apart…again

Happy Anniversary to us!

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On November 22 we celebrated our 18th year as a married couple. To some that is a pittance of time together to others it is a phenomenal feat of marital magic. To us, it was another day to celebrate that we were together…sort of.

It seems like every year our anniversary comes at a time when we can’t be together. My husband works for the wind farms and like the wind he blows away at a moments notice. I can’t complain. He takes very good care of us. We have everything that we need, except dad home. We stay in touch as best we can. E-mail, text, calls, snapchats- whatever it takes. We talk every night on the phone. Still there is no substitute for those glorious times that we are actually in the same house sharing a life. Neither of us like the arrangement that we are living right now, but in today’s economy, you take whatever job you can get and you keep it.

How have we stayed together all this time?

Marriage isn’t some magical thing that just happens and you live happily ever after. It takes dedication, hard work, and most of all love. I can’t imaging loving anyone else but Frank. He was my first and will be my only. We’ve overcome the rigors of trying to mesh two different worlds. He grew up in Scotland and I grew up in Colorado. We are from different religious backgrounds and often different philosophies when it comes to finances. We’ve stayed together through health problems, moving , job losses, having children, losing a child,  and having a child with disabilities. But we have beat all the odds. We’ve been together for 20 years come this December and we’ve been married for 18 of those years.

It’s not some miracle or magic. It’s just us. We made a commitment and we won’t let it go for anything. Have we had our hard times? Of course. Have there been doubts? Of course. But in the end we love each other and there is no other way to live. My husband always says that marriage isn’t a 50/50 partnership. It’s a 100/100 partnership. You must give 100% of yourself all the time. Sounds exhausting? It isn’t when you love the other person.

My mom always said that it’s the husband and the wife, together against the world. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that when you are tired and things seem to be crashing down around you but in the end we are always there for each other. A long time ago we had to kick the Martyr Syndrome. The “I do all the work and you just sit there” train of thought. Each of us has our bit to contribute. Yes, it may feel like I’m the only one that ever takes out the trash but he is the only one that has to get up and go to work in the freezing cold. It balances out.

Then there is the need to appreciate each other. It is SOOOO important to say THANK YOU! Even if it is for the small things. Thank you for cooking, thank you for picking up your socks, thank you for just being alive. Thank yous are important even in the bedroom. Tell your partner thank you! Go to sleep feeling appreciated and giving your appreciation. It makes the hard times easier to bear.

So many people tell me that they don’t know how I do it, with my husband gone all the time. They can barely make it a few days without their husband. Well maybe I’m different but maybe I’m just used to learning to deal with adversity. I miss him more than I can put into words. Depression sets in every time he goes back to work. I want to give up and never crawl out of bed, but that is hardly giving 100% now is it? Neither of us like being apart, but it is what is it right now. We love each other and we will deal with this and when he comes home we will be ridiculously happy for a few days.

Maybe someday we can be together again but for right now we have to cling to our love and keep on keeping on. So appreciate the fact that your husband or wife is there with you now. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills and just love them with everything you are and every bit you have.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Fortune Cookie Freakish

We all know deep down that fortune cookies are just a wacky fun dessert that comes with a silly message that has nothing to do with anything but they are fun to read anyway. Right?

Sort of…

Recently my husband, my son and I went to try a new Chinese food restaurant and we of course got fortune cookies when we were done. We cracked them open and here are the three messages we received.

IMG_5724Let’s start with the first one…

Something on 4 wheels will soon be a fun investment for you!

This one was really weird because we had just come from trading in my van on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I used to have a Jeep and loved it unconditionally, but life conspired against me and I had to get rid of it. I longed to get another one, however, I ended up with a mini-van. YUK! Talk about a cloud of melancholy that I drove every where. (I am kind of the opposite of a soccer mom.) For a couple of years now we have been looking for a Jeep to trade it in on but never quite found the right one. My hubby wanted me to get a newer one because of reliability and I wanted an older one because that was what I loved. Then this one came along. Not too old, not too new, low miles, good price- couldn’t pass it up.  So according to the fortune cookie this will be a fun investment! I really don’t care I’m just happy to have a Jeep again.

Now let’s take the second one…

Your dream will come true when you least expect it.

Which dream could this be…hmm… is is the one where I get to become a published author? Or win the lottery? Or is it the one where my hubby is home instead of traveling for work and we get to function as a regular family. Well… Be careful what you wish for! My poor hubby is home from traveling for work because work has nothing for him to do! The company he worked for was losing contracts and sent him home to sit until they had work so he took a different job with another company and one disaster led to another forcing him to sit at home waiting for work. It’s been 5 weeks now. Going on desperate times! Living off the credit cards. Wish I could have expected this dream a little better.

Now the third one…

Time heals all wounds. Keep your chin up.

Could this mean my husband’s imposed time off that has led to less than a marital bliss situation in our home? Won’t that be nice when it heals after he’s back to work and the tension has gone and we are back to normal. Must…keep…chin…up!

Not sure I want to open any new fortune cookies any time soon. They seem to know a lot more about my future than I do and I can’t say I like what they have to say.

 

 

A floating piece of fuzz

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I took a hot bath last night trying to sooth some aching muscles. As I soaked it noticed that I had been joined by a floating piece of fuzz. I could have been from the carpet or a sock it was hard to say. For lack of any other entertainment I watched it as it floated around in the water. It bobbed just below the surface never quite reaching the air. It swirled and drifted wherever the current took it. Lost in a vast sea of hot water. It never quite made it to “landfall” either every time it would float close to the side of the tub or my leg it would hover just out of reach like there was some kind of barrier keeping it from reaching that anchor.

I watched it for a long time and then tried to catch it and help it on its way to “dry land” but it eluded me with what seemed like determination. Eventually the bath drained and the little piece of fuzz had stubbornly stayed in the tub. It finally managed to cling the surface and was left behind when the water tried to carry it down the drain.

It made me lonely. Then I realized this was a visual metaphor for our destinies.

We float and drift where the current takes us so near to what we think we want but never quite making it. Then we sabotage ourselves by resisting the help that others try to give us certain that we can do it on our own. Always sure that we know what is best for us. Without help we will always be floating with an invisible barrier between us and where we could be.

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Don’t just float waiting for help you won’t accept! Paddle! Paddle for all you are worth and make landfall! Accept help whenever you can! No man is an island…nor is he a lone piece of floating fuzz.

He’s gone again

Once again I had to put my husband on a plane and watch him fly away. Yes, it is for work and it is the right thing for our family but it isn’t the good thing. None of us thrive when we are apart. How can we?
And it’s not just us. There are so many out there separated from their loved ones. Whether it is for work, because of war, or because of death. It’s a horrid thing.
How can we function properly when the strings connecting us to our other halves are stretched across hundreds of miles? The constant tug distracts us from living.
The world doesn’t hold as much appeal when you are looking at it with only half your eyes and experiencing it with only half your heart. All the colors wash out and the sound is muffled.
I know that I am lucky, even though I only see him 8 times a year, I still see him. He isn’t in danger and we talk almost every day. I know there are those that aren’t that lucky and I wish the world was different so that no one had to feel this way. But this is life, in all of its pain and joy, tears and laughter. I will take all I can get whenever I can.

Gone again

Yesterday I posted what a great dad and husband we have. Today he’s gone again. A week has flown by so fast. There wasn’t enough time.
Back to work for 6 weeks.
It’s almost surreal that he was even here. I know he was and I can’t wait until next time he comes. Until then we will keeping up the good fight and keeping the family moving forward. What other choice is there?
In the mean time… God keep him safe, please. Bring him back safe and whole and let this 6 weeks go by as fast as our week together did. Thank you.

Heart ripped out, again!

You would think that I would be used to it, but oh no, it hurts every time.
My husband and I have been married for 17 years and most of the time that we have been together he has had jobs that entail him being gone. Now, I know that in this day and age of the global economy, travel for work is very common. However it never stops hurting when he comes home and says that he has to leave the next day for (insert random location here). Every single time it is like a knife to my heart. I ball my head off and feel like my guts are turning to concrete. I shake and I can’t sleep.
I have two kids one extremely smart and one autistic, so life without dad around can be ridiculously hard. We still talk every night on the phone and try to Skype, but it is hard on the kids and I end up feeling like a single mom and he feels guilty for not being here with us.
Don’t get me wrong I am more than grateful that he has a job and can take care of us like he does. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.