You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 23, 2009.

I’ve been struggling. Focusing in on the absolute worst possible outcome in any given scenario. Certain that Austin would fall victim to every “rare but serious” side effect listed for each of his drugs (things that range from permanent hearing loss to irreversible organ failure to the big D). Wondering how many children I’d be buying Christmas gifts for next year.

But it’s lifting. I am, yet again, rising. Today has been a much better day. Austin is back, full force. He’s playing and eating and laughing and snorting like a pig (his new thing for some unknown reason). His resilience, his ability to get back up after being knocked down and down and down, reminds me to hope.

It started lifting last night. We’d finished dinner and I was standing there paralyzed by the mess in my kitchen and Mark told me to take some time off. “Stop worrying about whether you and I are putting in equal time right now. It doesn’t have to be equal; it has to be about meeting each other’s needs. Right now, you need a break. I don’t. The tables will turn and when they do, I can break down and you will step up.”

So I left. Went to Heinen’s and Target. Studied food labels for potassium and bought a few last minutes stocking stuffers, along with thermometers, hospital slippers and children’s Tylenol. I wandered around the store in a daze, thinking of my incredible husband and my incredible children. Struck by the goodness and kindness in my life and by the misery and cruelty in my life. The two opposite forces converging all at once, toppling over each other, jostling for position. Wondering which would win out, which would prove to be stronger in the end.

I drove home listening to the “holiday music station,” which is a form of torture in and of itself between the longing of “home for Christmas” songs to the new meaning behind “All I Want For Christmas is YOU” (not to mention the thoroughly annoying “The Twelve Pains of Christmas” which makes me want to shake someone: “Oh really? You couldn’t find a parking spot at the mall??”). But as I passed the twinkling lights on the houses, driving slowly with no traffic around, I was calmed. I pulled into the driveway of my full house and walked in my backdoor to the sound of laughter.

My three boys, one big, one medium and one little, were running around playing hide and seek. And laughing.

Goodness wins.

I know you all want to help. Every day, many times every day, people lament to me that they feel as if they’re just not doing enough. You beg for tasks needing completion or take my packages to the post office when you weren’t really planning on going (despite saying you were). You go quietly to my third floor to wrap my Christmas presents or bake Braedan a beautifully decorated basketball cake.  You send cards and food, well-wishes and hand crafted stars from all across the country.

It is all lovely and it makes us feel loved. It does not, however, change what is happening. Nothing that any of you can do or send or bake or buy can change what is happening. You certainly make it easier, don’t get me wrong. And it is definitely appreciated. You make our lives more manageable and less stressful by providing us with our basic needs and many many of our not-so-basic needs. And I know, because I too have watched families go through this struggle, that it makes you feel better to help in some small way.

The small way that helps me the most is the words that you give me in return for the words that I give you. I read every email message and Facebook comment and blog comment you write, often many times over. You preface your words by saying you fear they’re not enough or you hope you don’t say the wrong thing or you wish you could do more. But those small tokens of love and encouragement, hope and support and well-placed (and much-needed) humor are enough.

Please know that I take your words and I carefully wrap them up and store them within me. And then I pull them out right when I need them most and they give me strength. Which, in turn, gives us all strength.

December 2009
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December 2009
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
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14151617181920
21222324252627
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