Sunday, April 13, 2014

Catching Up

The good news never stops.  My computer died.  Apparently, according to my IT-gifted Hubby who is supper amazing and I have not said enough about through this ordeal, it was a tragic, nothing-could-have-stopped-it death.  Irreversible.  Bad news for someone who passes many of the hours of the day online. He has been there with me through the roughest parts from the beginning and to even blog about it is too hard.

Sigh.

The computer I'm using now is one that Hubs managed to resurrect "just enough" from the family electronic graveyard (What?  Doesn't your family have one of those?!?).  He pulled a power cord from the mix-and-match pile that fortuitously made the green light come on.  Ahhh.....sweet relief! 

Baby has taken a liking to Goliath's euphonium.  90% of the time, Goliath fails to put the instrument fully away in its case, which is more of a temptation than his youngest brother can handle.  I doubt I will ever fully get used to that which sounds like a dying animal in my front room.

Little Middle is playing baseball for the first time.  Unless you are a baseball mom, you can NOT understand the feeling of the knot in the pit of your stomach when your little guy steps up to bat.  No amount of time spent in the batting cages or balls tossed in the backyard can prepare either one of you for the enormous pressure of wanting needing to make the aluminum 'POP!' sound when the bat and ball make contact.  The pressure is SO intense, in fact, that when the pitcher (whose mother is biting her fingernails 2 rows in front of you, by the way) pegs your little man with the ball on his fifth pitch, you have to restrain yourself from rushing the mound to hug him because your kid just walked to 1st base!!!  And so it goes...until the next time he goes up to bat.  There is not enough Xanax on the planet for this wonderful walk into the world of beginning baseball.

Of course, real life continues to barrel its way straight through our family.  Kids can say and do the darndest things, but Monster threatens to cover their light with his darkness.  Truthfully, each morning I open my eyes, and I am disappointed.  What I would really like to have happen is that I could go to heaven one night while I sleep.  Wouldn't that be perfectly lovely?  Fall asleep and transition from this stupid broken world into the next beautifully perfect one.  Talk about a dream come true!

I have "settled" (a term I use super-loosely) into a daily sick routine.  I still get up and wake the boys up at their appointed times each morning.  This is my favorite.  I think, especially for the littles, that it helps promote a sense of normalcy, i.e. "Mom's face is the first one I see in the morning.  That is right.".  We get them fed, dressed, and out the door, usually on time, with lunches in their hands and completed homework in their backpacks.  I know that's a lot more than what a lot of healthy parents are able to do, so I try to be thankful.  Honestly, though, it's not enough for me.  I can't believe that I, who was once such a hands-on, do-it-all mom, have been reduced to a watch-them-shovel-in-Lucky-Charms mom who considers it a successful morning if she doesn't vomit in front of them.  

After they go to school, I breathe a sigh of relief, take my first handful of many pills, and make my first big decision of the day:  to shower or bathe?  Yes, I do one of the other each day.  Both are wrought with perils that an ordinary person might not consider.  A shower means that I need to wash my hair, a problem all in itself.  Fortunately, I have added to my repertoire of medical equipment a shower chair.  I hate it just like I hate all the other stuff.  BUT...you'd be surprised how helpful it has been in doing something as simple as washing my hair.  I had one morning when my sweet daddy was here that I asked him to help me wash my hair over the kitchen sink.  It was the day after that that the shower chair was delivered!  A bath...well, who doesn't like a nice warm bath every now and then?  Especially when they don't feel well?  The problem with that is that I keep falling asleep in the bathtub.  It's happened so often that now my caretakers (i.e. Hubby and Mom) have strict instructions from Nurse to keep a close eye on me.  That eye that she has in mind is closer than I will allow, so we've had to compromise with sponge baths a few times.  

After I get cleaned up and changed into fresh pj's, it's time for a nap.  Yes, even though I just got up, it's time to go back to bed.  Very often, I will sleep for another 2 hours (or longer).  Truthfully, I wish my body would allow me to sleep even longer.  There are points in the day that I think would be better if I just let go and slept straight through.  

When I wake up, sometimes I eat lunch, and sometimes I eat nothing at all.  It all depends on how I'm feeling.  I can't seem to hold interest in my books.  I've always been an avid reader!  But right now, for example, I am at the halfway point in a new book by one of my favorite authors, and I just can't feign enough interest to talk myself into reading further.  What a letdown.   I'm not much of a TV or movie person, but a lot of times I leave it on for background noise.  What else am I going to do?

I don't drive anymore.  Correction:  I can drive, but I don't.  I am taking so much medication (23 pills a day to be exact, and that's without "extra" stuff like phenergran for nausea or Xanax for my 6th grader stress), that who knows what is happening to my response times, my reflexes, etc.  So I depend on Hubby  or the occasional friend to get me where I need to go.  It's not really that hard to work out, because I don't leave the house much.  Still, the loss of that independence stings.  It's amazing how I never seemed to care about just getting out of the house for no reason before, and now that I can't, it really feels like it matters.  The Bus just sits in the driveway, seemingly taunting me.  

Anyway, back to the rundown of my day:  The boys come home in the afternoon, and then the craziest thing happens.  I swear that as soon as the door opens and I hear the first, "Hi, Mom!", my stomach starts to hurt.  I become uncomfortable in my own skin, and that horrible feeling increases over the next several hours until the clock mercifully allows me to take bedtime meds and I can sleep.  I don't know why those two things have to intersect, but that is what happens nearly every. single. day.  I hate it so much, because I feel like I don't spend nearly the time with them that I want to.  They come in my room and tell me about their day, of course, but I'm no match for them.  Most nights I have reading time with Baby, usually some math or some other can't-wait-to-be-done assignment with Little Middle, and then Goliath will come in and demonstrate his newest playlist for me before bedtime.  I am so thankful for these times with them, but again:  it's not enough.  I've fallen hard.  And every day is a tough reminder that I'm not what I used to be.

So that's a typical day.  Of course, weekends are a little different.  I have been trying very hard to make Little Middle's baseball and Baby's soccer games.  Hubby and I sat out in the crazy wind on Saturday morning cheering for a bunch of second graders who were falling all over themselves.  Hilarious!  But even that felt bad to me:  I used to be the team mom.  I went to every practice, I set up the snack schedule, I made sure he had his cleats, his socks, his shin guards for every practice and game.  Now I have no idea how it all comes together each week!  Of course, I'm not so arrogant as to believe that the world of soccer needs me to make it all jive.  I simply miss being an integral part of my children's lives.  And I'm at a loss how to achieve that feeling of closeness again in this new world.

The boys seem to be doing well.  They have each had their own mini-breakdowns from time to time, and that is to be expected.  I don't think you live knowing that your mother is dying and not have issues.  School teachers, counselors, coaches, church personnel...they're all on board with us.  There are people falling over themselves waiting and wanting to help the 3 little cowboys.  And for that, ya'll, I am unbelievably, overwhelmingly thankful.  Crazy thankful.  God has been so gracious to put our family in a place where we are cared for and loved on.  There's no way that the boys could be carrying on so well if they weren't in the middle of a you-are-loved cloud everywhere they go.  Life is hard enough, and a curveball like this can really alter the course of one's entire life one way or the other if we let it.

I still worry, of course.  I spend a lot of those empty hours in my days worrying.  Some days I feel like all I DO is worry.  I love this translation of a well-known verse:  "Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."  (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)
This Scripture offers an option:  Instead of worrying, pray.  And don't just pray asking for things, but offer up praise.  I love that.  If I am doing it right, I shouldn't just ask God for his watchcare over my sons.  I should praise Him!  And there's plenty to praise Him for:  He is big enough to handle my requests.  He loves the boys even more than I love them.  He has good plans for them.  And before I know it, my need to worry is replaced with Christ.  A sense of God's wholeness...I can't think of anything better to have on this earth until I can get to heaven and be remade!

I don't know how it's going to happen.  A lot of days--more often than not--I get bogged down with the imaginings of everything that can go wrong.  Raising three children with two parents is a huge job.  Raising three broken, hurt children with only one broken, hurt parent is an astronomical, how-can-it-be-done job!  But my God knows.  He knows our hurts, and He can heal.  That's what I pray for:  healing for my sons.  I don't want them to ever forget me.  But I do want God to use the experience that this hurt and loss is/will be for something spectacular.  I can't even imagine yet what it could be!...But God knows.   And I trust Him with them...even the one who never takes his ear phones out of his ears just to make me nuts.

35 comments:

Liz said...

Love you girlie! I know we don't REALLY know each other, but I love to see your updates both here & on FB. HUGS!

Lori said...

Thinking of you and your family tonite (even though we don't know each other) and continuing to pray... I know it may be irrational but sometimes when I check your blog I think "Wouldn't it be BEYOND AWESOME to read that Ally's doctor can't find any trace of the Monster and she is miraculously HEALED?" And I know God is capable, but I DON'T know if that is His will, so, I read, and I wish somehow I could make it easier but I know I can't. I'm wondering if Goliath's perhaps acting out a bit because, in HIS mind, if he already starts to separate a bit, it won't hurt so much? Or, as you said (knowing them best of course!) maybe it's just kids being kids and he's in middle school so that explains a lot lol. I wish you comfort, peace and much love!

Chrissy said...

Love and prayers from another follower. God has given you an amazing strength and Iove for those boys and for God. our God has been covered we know that and great plans for them all.

Lisa said...

May the God of all peace and comfort continue to wrap Himself around you and your precious family.

Anonymous said...

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Praying for the wisdom to know His grace is enough. I cannot begin to understand what you are going through but He does. And though you may not be able to do all that you have done for your children in the past on a daily basis, just seeing your desire to be with them and doing all that you can do for them is enough. I pray that Christ's power rests on you and that the light of His glory is revealed. Love to you and your family.

Jackiejaxn said...

It is always good to "hear you". Thanks for allowing us the privilege of walking with you. Our interest is personal and bathed in a desire for good things for you and your family. We read with deep desire to somehow lift your burdens and bless you... But ALWAYS you lift ours and bless us instead. Praying for you here in Sugar Land. Hugs.

Jan Payne Pierce said...

Alyson...I beg you to speak to your mountain...daily, moment by moment, and by faith call that cancer dead in Jesus' name. Tell your body that God wants you well! You want to be well! Your family wants you well! I have been to hell and back with back surgeries, 2 months of hospitalization, and myriads of meds also. I am also learning from Andrew Wommack ministries healing from the Bible...www.awmi.net. Praying that you attack this hideous disease that Satan, not God, has sent. You can be well and whole again!

Pamela Cummings said...

May Peace (above all else ) Reign in your heart!!!!!!! Bless you with comfort and prayers of comfort for your loved ones...

Anonymous said...

We have never spoken or met but I find myself looking for your updates. Thank you for being so candid, sharing the good and the bad. I know that you have touched so many people and was thrilled to see that your blog will be published. I saw that HBO is airing a documentary called "One Last Hug," it documents 3 days the children's grief camp, Camp Erin, which hosts camps all across the US. Now might not be the right time for your boys to see it but wanted you and your husband to know about it and the camp. I hope that you find comfort in the many thousands of people who have been touched by your words and who are sending you love.

Anonymous said...

You are allowing Gods love to be seen in your face. You are a beautiful woman of Christ!

Anonymous said...

Hi Beautiful one...has been a while..."For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37
Isaiah 43:18-21.

Praise the Lord, O my soul, rise up and praise the Lord!
The Lord, He is God!

Love you, too, Beautiful One!

Anonymous said...

Ally - thank you so much for sharing your heart and God's work in your life with us. As I was praying for you yesterday, the words to this song came to mind - How we pray God's grace and blessings for you and your family.

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
He giveth more grace....

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
He giveth more grace....

In Christ's love,

Jen Richter said...

You are amazing.

Michelle Wilson said...

Praying that you will be filled with Christ's fullness today and also that you will be able to enjoy pain-free afternoons with your boys when they come home from school. I also pray that this Easter is an especially sweet time of fellowship for your family. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

Tammy said...

Alyson, I love you and pray for you daily. Can you believe we met seven years ago?. I am thankful for our friendship. Keep writing the blogs, you are amazing! Tammy young

Annette said...

I have thought of and prayed so much for your family since coming across your blog a few months ago. It's easy to see what an amazing Christian, mother, and wife you are. Praying for you and your family to have peace and comfort. You have touched so many lives and will continue to be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I do not know you, but I know your struggle personally. My Momma is also dealing with the insidious monster of the same kind. Never in my life have I hated something more. You are in my thoughts and prayers, sweet warrior.

Debra said...

I am sure that you have heard it before - you are an inspiration! I read your blog as someone who has never met you, but I learn something from you everytime I read a new post. We are praying fervently for your family from here in Canada!

the plaid cookie said...

As you live out your days with your faith intact, that will be the best thing you can do for your little family! God does indeed have plans for your guys...all of them...and His ways are perfect. You have taught them about Him, and that is the most important thing a parent does for their child besides love them and nurture them. And when you can no longer love them, and nurture them, He will!! I will remember you, and check back on you. I love the warmth and sincerity with which you write...your honesty will be a help to others, who follow in your footsteps. I hope you're keeping these blogs where the boys can read them in future times...they will love knowing that Mama's thots were on them, even during her illness! Sharon Albert Gibson

Sue said...

I have come here from facebook, and have been reading and reading...You are an amazing individual. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Giselle said...

What an witness and inspiration you are to your boys. You are an amazing woman. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

O.M.G. said...

I am a Christian and a hospice nurse. Your experience, and the sharing of it, is...important beyond what words can express.

I've been wanting to share these verses with someone who gets it. Maybe you've already read them?
Ecclesiastes 7:1-4
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

I was listening to my audio bible the other day (bible.is app)and these words spoke to me as a hospice nurse and Christian. it was like God telling me how much He values what I am doing with my life. Not that I fully understand these words but they really comfort me. Being a hospice and palliative nurse is not my job, it's my lifestyle. It is who I am and how I view the world and eternity.
Thank you for letting me share with you.

Anonymous said...

Ally,

I just found your blog on Saturday and I have ready each and every word that you have written, to date. Your writing style is amazing and honest and in between my heart aching for you and your boys I've found myself smiling at the life you putting on virtual paper...and now paper, paper. Wonderful! Your humor and zest for life comes shining through, even in the face of such challenges. I can't stop reading. You've touched my heart and even though we've not met and you don't know me nor I you, you've made an impact in my tiny little slice of life in Fairfax, VA. I've kept checking this blog for an update, I feel like I need to know how your doing and what's going on. If only so that I can pray specifically for what you need right now. Seems so selfish as I type the words. I will end with, prayers are streaming your way from Virginia along with prayers for your cowboys, your hubs and the rest of your family. As much as you have worried about your cowboys on your blog, and I'm sure that doesn't even scratch the surface, they are very fortunate boys to have such a great Mom, and no matter what they do, where they go, or who they, ultimately, become on this road called life, they will always carry half of you with them. They will always talk like you, think like you (to one extent or another), have habits or movements or facial expressions like you. You are in them, forever and ever. The world is a brighter place because you are in it! Thank you for sharing and making me think and cry and smile, what you've done through your blog is HUGE! Prayers! Lynne

Anonymous said...

Hello my sister in Christ,

I have been checking your blog everyday for an update. I have been thinking of you and praying for you and your family. I pray that you find comfort and peace in these days as you transition into your new normal. I know you have heard this so many times before but lives are being changed and hearts are being softened through your blog. I do not know you but I think of you so very often that it's scary to feel a connection to someone I have never met. But, we are connected. We are children of the most high God who is so, so good. I just wanted to post to let you know that I love you.

In Christ.

Annette said...

Ally, I continue to think of you and pray for you and your family often. I know with all certainty that God is watching over you and your precious boys and husband. Your faith has strengthened so many of us as Christians.

Anonymous said...

I was before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament last night and suddenly All That I Can Give was in my head. Praying for you and your family, Allyson.

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Amanda said...

I am a reader of your blog for awhile now and I have been praying for you. I don't know you personally but you have been on my heart so much and I keep checking for update. Praying so hard! We have a mutual friend and she first shared your story on FB.

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Anonymous said...

I have been checking for updates and the fact that there have been none has me praying even harder for your family. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharon S said...

Not having much insight into what is actually going on, I keep praying the presence of the Lord, Jesus himself is felt in each heart who is in the home of Allyson. Many, many prayers for miraculous healing still going on. Many, many prayers for the cowboys going on. Many, many prayers for Allyson going on. Many, many prayers for all the family going on. Much, much love for a family facing the unknown on a minute by minute basis.

Alyssa Cheatham said...

Ya know. I'm friends with Goliath and I never talk to him about it bwcause I know it's a soft place. I myself have had 2 dogs a hamster and a grandmother die and I know how it feels. I promise that when you are in Heaven, in the better place I will try and help Goliath feel better and not be in a slump like I was for a while. Lifes hard and you have to accept when things happen. If you get behind you'll be left there to catch up on your own and that's what I had to do, and I hope Goliath never has to go throughthat like I did

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