True confessions...I struggled this week.
I'm a terrible swimmer, but I can tread water like a champ (oops...I wrote "tramp" there at first, which got me giggling thinking about how my aunt and cousin always get sayings wrong. "There's two ways to skin a horse", for example :). This week I felt like I've been out in the deep end an awfully long time and my arms and legs are desperate for a rest, but its too deep to touch down even for a minute, so my head dips further and further in.
I miss who I used to be. I realized this very starkly when I went to visit my brother this week. The first guy I met came up to Tim and asked him if they were going for their regular run later that afternoon. After Tim exchanged introductions the guy said Are you the sister who runs half and full marathons? I vacillated between crying and kissing him, in the end I opted for smiling and nodding.
Oh, how I miss being strong and healthy, a woman with a clear mind who is not in a constant state of fog, someone with hobbies and passions. It feels like so long since I was something other than the cancer patient.
Shaun comes home from work and tells me about his day. I love to soak up his stories, thoughts and feelings. I love hearing about his hard work paying off, about dreams being realized, about...life. Just normal (albeit extraordinary) person life.
The other night I was tired and grouchy and just so over cancer. Very gently Shaun said, Settle in, Girlfriend. You've got to change your face about this.
Aiden doesn't love to do school. We've been doing it most days since August, and its something he knows he has to do, yet nearly everyday he protests. And whines and complains. So I send him up to his room to sit on his bed until he changes his face. The face he knows I'm looking for is one with a smile that says I'm not thrilled about doing this but I know we need to, so lets get to work and get it done.
This week I had poorly timed appointments (in this world, for the most part, you are assigned appointments, not asked what's convenient), so instead of doing an extra hour of driving, Aiden and I went grocery shopping and then did school. There is a little enclosed garden area in the atrium of the cancer center with living plants and soft bird noises and the morning sun streams right through. We studied sight words right there in our little oasis.
Aiden has grown quite fond of going to radiation with me. There are two waiting rooms, the main one to radiology and then a different one, what I call the VIP room that you get to use when treatments begin. There is a nurses station right there so its a safe place for Aiden to stay while I am in the room for 10 minutes. I had been letting him bring in the iPad, but last week we decided together that his time would be better spent talking with and blessing people while he waits and then doing the iPad in the car.
So he's done just that. There aren't too many vibrant, healthy people around there, much less cute, charming five year-olds, so he is a big hit. I went one day without him because he was still sleeping and Shaun was going in late to work. The nurses asked, Where's the little guy? and when I got back Aiden asked, Mooomm, why did you go to radiation without me??
Yesterday was the Dream Center marathon in L.A., the one I'd been planning on spending all winter training for, and I spent some time thinking coulda, woulda's. Not at all helpful, come to find out.
Looking back on the week I wondered why I struggled, especially since there wasn't anything major going on. I realized I missed one morning with God, which slipped into a couple days. Under normal circumstances I'm not strong enough to do life on my own, but while I'm in the deep end treading water? I have to have that time.
This morning His mercies are new. My eyes are fixed on Jesus and I am going to spend the week filling the empty spaces with His TRUTH, leaving little room for anything else.
Thank you for your continued prayers and love. I was watching Aiden in swim class on saturday, trying to swim from one side of the pool to the other. Even though he had a floaty on, he kept bobbing up and down and wasn't making much forward progress. So every once in a while his instructor would come up behind him, placing a supportive hand under him, getting his head above water, gently pushing him forward and steering him straight. You who are standing with us are like that to me. Thank you. For supporting me, pushing me and steering me straight. My heart is full.
"She that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."