Saturday, February 25, 2012


It seems that a big theme in my recent days has been for me to stand firm on my own two feet. Things have happened recently that have, in essence, forced me to see that it is possible for me to stand on my own two feet. Things that have opened my eyes to the fact that I have been standing on my own two feet. That standing firm on my feet actually equals inner strength, and doesn't have anything to do with having help.

That's not to say that I've done it alone. In NO WAY POSSIBLE have I done this alone. I have an AMAZING, AWESOME GOD that is with me each and every step of the way. I have some AMAZING AND AWESOME FRIENDS AND FAMILY without whose help I would not have made it to this point of realizing that I am strong.

I can stand. I can face each day and night. The weight of the burdens I carry won't crumble me unless I let them.

In realizing that I am strong, I've also realized that asking for help does not indicate weakness. Not that I have consciously thought that, but I've had this ideal that being strong meant doing every thing by myself...only asking for help in the most immediate times of need.

By not asking for help in the times that don't meet my criteria of  "immediate" need, I have denied people that chance of a blessing. I have given life permission to have a hold over me that isn't necessary. Life doesn't have to be as hard as I make it sometimes. Yes, my life is difficult. Yes, there is a lot of heartache and burden. Yes, there are times when I feel like it is just too much. By not asking for help unless it's an immediate need, I am placing a great deal of stress on myself.

MLC has been trying to get me to come to terms with the weight of the burden that I carry for many years. I have resisted seeing most of it simply because it is a hard, bitter pill to swallow. Who wants to admit or even accept that your life is so weighed down by burden that it takes a therapist to help her see it? I certainly don't want to!

Well, the scales have fallen from my eyes. I'm living a life that requires an enormous amount of inner strength. For some reason, I have thought that I wasn't strong enough to live my life. I am living a life that requires me to have help. I simply can not do it all. I've spent so much time and energy trying to do it all, that I have lost sight of the fact that LIFE IS GOOD and WORTH LIVING EACH AND EVERY DAY!

The circumstances of life don't really matter, as much as how you deal with those circumstances. Dealing has many definitions. For me and my life, dealing means that I need to accept that asking for and accepting help is not an indicator of weakness. It is actually confirmation of a huge amount of inner strength and confidence.

A main tool I learned in dealing with grief, and the various emotions that come with it, is to re-frame the way you look at or interpret something.

I've been forced to re-frame how I view asking for and accepting help. I have been forced to accept that my life is hard. I am strong because of my faith, my friends and family, and I choose to be.

I choose to be strong not only in will, but in spirit. I choose to stand.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Everything and nothing

It has been a while since my last post.

Things here are running crazy, and there seems to be nothing unusual going on at the same time.

I do feel as if I am at some sort of crossroads. I am looking at the road ahead, the road to the left and the road to the right. I know the road from which I have come. I could turn around and go back, but that wouldn't be what is best for me or the kids. The road would be comfortable in it's own way...maybe familiar is a better description. It's still not the way God has chosen for me.

It doesn't matter which path I choose, the road is going to be an unknown one.

I'm having trouble figuring out which road it is that God wants me to take though. I've been praying, yet I don't feel God pointing me in a specific direction. My maternal grandmother used to say that if I didn't know what to do, then just stand still and listen.

I guess that's what I've been trying to do...stand still and listen.

It's difficult to stand still when it feels as if you are trying to stand still in the middle of a hurricane. You know, that place that is right at the edge of the eye. That place where the winds are swirling every which way. Rain and debris keep clouding my vision. I have to go with what I know.

I know that we are in a routine, as miserable as it may be at times. Nick gets chemo and IVIG every 21 days. He begins a 5 day course of high dose steroids at that same time. Then the watch and wait time starts. The watch and wait time is the week following chemo. It it the time when the steroids really kick in and Nick's attitude becomes atrocious, the chemo kicks Nick's energy to the curb, I'm watching for the slightest hint of sickness to show it's face because that could send us straight into the hospital, and LIFE is still going strong. Kacie is still dancing 4-5 days a week. Nick is still doing his volunteer firefighter training. School is attended and homework completed.

My head begins to feel like it's spinning. I'm a single mom of a preteen and teenager. Oh wait...I'm a widow too. Oh wait...the teenager has cancer too. Oh wait...I'm trying to carve out some kind of life for myself. Oh kids want to live "normal"-ish lives, with normal ish activities and friends, trips and all of the things that "normal" ish families do.

Oh wait...the only problem is that we are not a normal ish family. We are a family that has been through a LOT! We are trying to hold it together, rebuild after loss, continue to grow, etc...

No wonder my head feels like it is spinning sometimes.

No wonder I don't know which path to take.

No wonder I'm afraid to take a step in the wrong direction.

Well...I guess it's time to hunker down and get ready for another storm. Wednesday begins the next 21 day cycle.

Wednesday is chemo day...