(Edited on Sept. 24, 2015 to add: Originally posted a year ago - a little over two weeks after Steven was diagnosed. It's amazing, and kind of sad, how much time has passed and how little things have changed...)
The past two weeks Steven and I have, unfortunately, settled into a new kind of "normal". For him, the days all look basically the same. Days and nights are spent in his room, or the surrounding halls. "Nothing ever changes.."is generally his sentiment after making yet another circle around the same nurses desk that he has made for over two weeks.
However, after learning that we would ultimately end up in St. Louis for treatment, he has been adamant that I spend more nights at home with the kids. So my new "normal" is constant change. Home, hospital, home, hospital, work, ball practice, hospital, home...
I understand this. Really, I do. It's necessary and I want to be with the kids as well. We were ALWAYS with our kids and not seeing them daily is the hardest part of this "new normal" for us. All of us. Although I am happy to be able to be home with the kids, leaving Steven at the hospital, and walking out of that room without him, is one of the hardest things I've ever done, because sometimes, there are just things that only a wife can do.
Leaving physically hurts me.
There is a fear of losing him, although I keep it pushed back, that screams at me to not leave his side because someday I might not have the opportunity to be there at it. Touching his warm skin is about the only remedy to this fear and sometimes even that brings more tears.
I have struggled with many emotions in the last 19 days, and recently feeling inadequate is up near the top of the list. When I am home I am trying to catch up with the things I have neglected there, things that can't be put off any longer, or I am trying to get the kids ready for their next day at school. My own home, and things that used to be second nature, now feels foreign. Of course, all of these things are made harder by the blaring fact that daddy isn't home.
When dark settles, and the time to snuggle down in bed comes, his absence is made even more real.
We have been blessed beyond measure with family and friends that have filled in and stepped up to help when we didn't even realize we needed it. But, sometimes, there are just things that only a mom can do.
Working for the past 15 years at the funeral home was another "normal" thing. Going to work was something I did, and something I took pride in. Just like wife, and mom, employee was another facet of myself. I have tried to keep up with things at work on my end, even though they have told me not to worry about it. Working remotely, or stopping by for an hour a couple times a week, allows me to keep up with the most pressing issues I need to attend to. But many times, I know that what needs to be done, is for me to simply be present, and allow those who have been picking up my slack to take a well deserved rest. Because, sometimes, there are just things that only this employee can do.
My friends have saved me many times in my life by offering a needed shoulder, counsel, grounding me and giving me solid advice, or telling me when I was completely off base. I hope I have also offered them the same. I love my friends and I love being a friend. But I know, in the midst of the chaos that is now my life, I haven't been much of a friend. Although Steven and I are going through a tough time right now, I am under no illusion that everyone else's life is continuing on perfectly, without troubles or day to day aggravations. These are the things that I would normally be there for. Listening, laughing about how things always seem to happen, or simply joining in on their life journey by learning about the road they were currently on.
I haven't done any of those things lately, and sometimes, there are just things that only a friend can do.
Feelings of inadequacy in being a wife, mother, employee and friend, fill my mind, even though these feelings are mine alone. I haven't had any one make any accusations, and I am not looking for reassurances from anyone. I am just putting into words, the best that I can, the feelings that I struggle with, and try to fight. I have always had a need to control things, and situations, and that need is being put to the test. God is asking me to hand over the reins and for me to stop fighting Him for control.
Because, sometimes, there are just things that only God can do.