You know how prescriptions, shoot even cold medicines, have warnings, "don't operate heavy machinery while taking this medicine"? Sure seems like life should have similar stickers. "Don't try and blog while sorting through a crisis." "Don't try and have a normal life while dealing with cancer and care taking." "Don't expect your babies to behave normally when they don't get to have a present parent."
This is my life these days. I find myself wanting to blog, but I honestly live each day with tears just below the surface. My poor husband gets to see them, most of you never will. 2 1/2 months ago Craig's mom was diagnosed with stage 4 laryngeal cancer. Our life has not been the same since that fateful day, nor has hers obviously. Since then we have been handling ALL of their affairs. About every 3 days we bring groceries to my father in law who lives about 30 minutes away. We check to make sure he's taking all this meds, refill prescriptions if needed, and do whatever else he says is needed. This is typically stuff like "I can't get my tv to work!" and "I need my beard trimmed!" CRISIS to him, but just wearing to us after so many weeks of doing it. I handle all of their finances which includes paying regular bills and managing their money so as to be able to pay for 12 hours of caregiving a week for him and everything else, too. I handle all the applications to medicaid and finding assisted living facilities for them. Just last week I faxed 24 pages of stuff to medicaid- just for the financial assessment part. On top of all this we try to see Craig's mom in Seattle as much as we can and I do what I can to send her whatever she needs; clothes, books, crochet how-to's, etc. as well as write to her because she can't talk on the phone due to her tracheotomy.
Where do three kids and a marriage fit into all this? Plain and simple- they don't. We are coping and I'm tearfully praying that Jesus will protect our family from the damage that all this is doing to us. My children need their parents and I need my husband, but yet we feel the intense burden of other people relying on us for such basics as food. Craig and I do our best to protect our children from the crisis as it's our burden to bear, and not theirs.
On top of all of this, my wonderful brother in law (my sister-in-law's husband) passed away very unexpectedly on Christmas Eve morning. What a shock. It still doesn't seem real even after going to his wake on Saturday. He was a great man and it was so clear at his wake that his life touched countless people. He was generous and kind and cared about people. When Craig's accident happened and all of Craig's 'friends' left him to die and me to fend for myself in pajamas without a car or wallet- Jim came to our rescue. He was a big man with a gentle heart. He came and got me and gave me a huge hug and drove me the 1 1/2 hour drive to my parent's house like it was no big deal. He did that for anyone he could. He'd drop his life and help others. But now his life is over and as a family we are trying to deal and I find myself praying constantly for my sister in law. Jim was 36.
These are days of coping. I'm tired of crying and I'm tired of living in crisis. Yet there are no ways to change our current circumstances without harming another person's life. I'm sorrowful that Jim is gone, Craig's mom is battling cancer alone in Seattle, his sister is now a widow, and his step-dad spends his days in his wheelchair totally alone in his apartment. Some days it's incredibly overwhelming.
Our next step is getting my FIL into a facility, but there is a wait list so...we wait. Once that happens we'll need to clear out the apartment and that is no small feat. That's all I'll say about that but you get my drift. Basically we're a ways out from life feeling 'normal' again. So I find myself saying, "Lord, what do we do? How do I raise three kids and juggle homeschooling, Little League, laundry, meals, paying bills, etc......AND all the stuff we have to do for everyone else?"
Then there's all the cliche's. IE:
God never gives anyone more than they can handle
What doesn't break you makes you stronger
But as anyone that's ever dealt with anything like this knows, those cliches don't mean a hill of beans. It's just people trying to find the words to say when situations like these don't have words that fit. I get it. It's awkward and hard to see a loved one suffering and have no way to help them and not be sure what to say. We do appreciate prayers and friendship and NO DRAMA :)
Last week I was up til 3am 5 nights in a row. Only one night was because of the kids, the others were because I literally have that much to do after the kids go to sleep. 9pm comes and then my real work begins. Paying bills, filling out more paperwork, correcting schoolwork, load after load of laundry, etc. Craig is my partner for sure and works just as hard as I do, if not harder. But we are carrying the burden of 2 households,4 adults, and 3 kids and 2 of those adults have MAJOR health issues. The burden is heavy.
I try to cope by praying, remembering my blessings, saying no to things as much as my brain will let me, and trying to remember to love and hug my kids rather than being mad that they are acting out because they need ME. I'm not supermom. I'm just Diana. 28 and thoroughly overwhelmed most days and doing my best to trust that my Savior loves me and is carrying us through this. In many ways I am perfectly positioned to be given this burden. I have a background in finance, my brain is typically very organized, I'm a good multi tasker, a night owl, and medical crisis is nothing new to me.
I can't change my circumstances, but I can choose to trust my God. New Year's resolutions feel hollow in spite of everything else going on. But New Year's prayers seem to fit.
So, my prayers for 2012:
For my FIL to get moved into a facility asap and the apartment to be cleared out and gone through as quickly and smoothly as possible.
For Jacob to choose to live here long term as he is experiencing family, Jesus, school, siblings, and life in ways he never has and won't get to if leaves here.
For our Durango to sell. We don't want the payment anymore and we need a vehicle with more seats.
For God's will for my mother in law to happen swiftly, whatever that may be.
For my sister-in-law to experience healing and to feel how much Jesus loves her and will pursue her. He is a husband to the widow.
For God to clean up the mess of our life right now and give us another baby.
That we as a family would have the means to take a trip or go camping or do something outside of our everyday life to build memories this year and experience joy.
And as I pray every single day, "Lord, bind our family together. Protect our family from whatever satan hopes to accomplish in destroying us. Bring peace, unity, and contentment in our home. Protect our children from any harm. Bless Craig and give him continued favor at work. Expand his territory. Bless us with a baby and a car that will fit all of us."