Sunday, December 26, 2010
Today I'm sad. There is nothing like knowing that this is the last Christmas you will ever sit on the floor and marvel at the joy on your children's faces with your beloved. Who will I look at next year? Who will sit with me?
So many people want to know, "Jen, how are you doing?" I feel like ripping their faces off sometimes. How do you think I'm doing? I feel like I am choking all the time. I feel like I have not just balls in the air but balls of fire in the air? Who do I pay attention to the most? Is it my dying husband? Is it my oldest boy who is old enough to understand and who will need me more? Is it my little boy whose days are going to be filled with so much confusion and questions? Is it the house so that when the hospice workers and the steady stream of visitors come they won't think we're slobs? Is it myself who feels like I want to climb the walls all the time or who wants to cry all the time? I am falling apart. I can actually feel myself falling apart. And if one more person hugs me, I may just scream.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Like when I was driving and I just started to cry. I was just watching TV and I started to cry. And he just hugged me on his way back to bed and I realized that my face belongs no where else but in the crook of his neck. How we just fit together. And then I started to cry.
He has his hospital bed and I no longer sleep with my husband. I used to love to listen to him breathe. The sound would comfort me so much. Like it had its own melody kind of. I didn't realize how much I loved it..Now, I will have to be content to listen for it from a distance. I hate that hospital bed. And what I hate even more is that it will give him comfort and peace and sleeping with me in our bed will not.
I am going to miss him so much and when I realize how much it literally takes my breath away.
Did I mention that I hate cancer?
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Tonight my husband looked, quite honestly, terrible. He looks like a shell of his former self. He looks thing.
I said to him, "You are my one true love." He whispered to me, "You are my one true love."
Those are the things that are keeping me going. If I didn't have that absolute assurance that the four of us love each other I think I would completely go out of my mind. I feel like I walk around my house and everything is crumbling. My life is blown to bits and will NEVER be the same again. And I find that when Sean is home and there isn't much to do for him or much I can do for him, that is when I feel the worst. That's when that reality sets in for me. When he's in the hospital I am busy arranging childcare, preparing for my next visit, and worrying about him. But, then he comes home and I'm not so busy anymore. Tonight is one of those times. I feel like I can't really take a deep breath. Like I can't sit still.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
He lost his Dad last summer and he is still feeling the effects of it. It is amazing how much the Lord is carrying me through and how lost I imagine the world feels when they are dealing with death. My neighbor is struggling to the point that we talked about his Dad and he cried. He is a big strong man and he cried. I'll tell you a little secret. One of the most favorite things that Sean does is he kisses my head when he hugs me. We talked and I tried to share some encouragement with him and he bid me goodbye. But he did one thing first, he hugged me again and he kissed the side of my head. It felt like a holy moment. God's Word in Isaiah says, "I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." (Is. 46:4) God knew exactly what I needed at exactly the moment I needed it.
See, sometimes it isn't always in the big things or grand gestures that God's love is the most visible, it's in a Monday afternoon when you are pulling your hair out and you feel lost in a big ole world. It's not sometimes when your world is ending, it's just when your furnace doesn't work and you call on someone and they are right there when you need them most.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Yesterday 11 people came to my home and raked our leaves and mowed our lawn and cleaned our gutters. It was difficult work. It was a beautiful crisp fall day that they probably would have loved to spend anywhere else doing anything else. But, these were Jesus's hands and feet. And I felt at a loss as to how to properly express my gratitude. Flowers didn't seem enough. A thank you card paled. So, here I sit humbled and grateful and not quite sure what to do with it all.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
After I picked him up from the hospital we went to go pick up the kids at our friend's house. I had to bring the kids trick or treating and I thought that Sean would stay at their house or maybe stay in the car where he could rest. But, not my husband and not their father. He was in the thick of it. He walked and walked with us. I couldn't believe it. He looked so tired but he didn't want to miss it. I couldn't have been prouder of him. For just that moment, cancer didn't have any victory. Sure, it made him tired and it made him thinner and it made him weaker, but he was there. Helping. Loving. Living.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I think sometimes I shouldn't go see Sean at the hospital because I hear reports of other people's visits and their visits sound awesome. They laugh, they share stories and our visits kind of feel raw. There is crying and touching and real honest talks about how we are feeling. Everyday as I walk to the green elevators I give myself a pep talk about how today I am going to be upbeat and smile a lot and laugh and in about two seconds sometimes that crumbles at my feet. He looks thin, he looks tired and somedays he is so far away from the sharp larger than life man I married. And then we talk. And we share. And sometimes we talk about how he doesn't even want to fight anymore because he is so much pain and then he gets sleep and he says, "Wife, there is still fight in me." So, I guess at 11:30 at night as I mull our visits I am comforted. I am so because isn't that true love when you can be truly open and honest with your mate. You can let all those ugly parts out and there is still someone who looks at you with so much love on their face and you know it's okay. That the love is still intact and you feel safe. So,tomorrow is another day and I will go to the hospital once, probably twice. And I will try. I will try to spread a little sunshine. But, if I don't, that's okay too..
Monday, October 25, 2010
I have never seen the body of Christ work quite like it has during this crisis in our lives. There is not a day that goes by that I haven't gotten a phone message or a Facebook message or an e-mail with encouragement and love and prayers for our family. There have been more "playdates" for my children in this past month than there has been their entire lives. Without their help, I would literally be lost.
At church on Sunday, I was late due to many people asking me how Sean and our family was doing. The only seats available were in the front row. I sat there by myself and I felt so lonely I could have laid on the floor and cried. The seat next to me was so empty. All of a sudden, this woman sat next to me. Her name is Kathy. I know who she is because she is one of Sean's customers (I also know her address thanks to my Precioushead!) and she had talked with Sean while she was going through her divorce. She saw me and said to her husband, "Is that Sean's wife down there?" She felt the Lord tell her to come sit next to me. She did and it was probably one of the most beautiful things that anybody has ever done for me. She just held my hand and told me I wasn't alone. If that is God's hands and feet at work, I don't know what is.
I love my husband because even though he is the hospital and so medicated, the core of who he is still so intact. The other day he said to me, "Wife, could you please help me clean up. This place is a mess." That is so Sean. And every day I come I read him the Proverbs. I will purposely only read half of one that I know he knows and he will finish it and just smile at me. I love that man to the ends of the Earth...
Monday, October 18, 2010
Today I was reading Joshua for my small group Women's Bible Study and it just wasn't doing it for me. And then I had a long talk with God. I told him that I was angry, that I was sad, that I really didn't like the way things were going and I finally started praying for certain things that I just felt were out of my control. Why let him handle it when I do such a good job myself? Ha..
Then I had a leaning on my heart like in no other time - "read the book of Job". So, I read the first chapter and when I read the last couple of lines, I knew that I knew this is the perfect time:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."
Okay, God. I get the message. Your Name be praised..
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Today he told me that it's good for us to have time apart and he was grateful that I was at work and I understand. To a point. It felt good to be at work and talking about something other than cancer. Other than a pill schedule. Other than pain. But, every single second we're not together I feel like - well, it's as if I am holding a treasure of pennies in my hand and some are slipping through my fingers. I feel like every single second should be spent together and yet I know we will surely kill each other if we do that. It's not healthy for people to be together all the time. I know.
It's dizzying to me this line I have to navigate. He is the one that is going through this. I want to be a patient and understanding wife. I want to give him room. Yet I hope I can figure out how to do that.
Monday, October 11, 2010
And today Sean laughed. And today he didn't take a nap. And today he helped with the groceries. And today he played with his children and hugged and kissed his wife. Today he played "Father may I?" and read to his boys. Today felt good in the midst of cancer. Sometimes those old cliches really do ring true. The one about focusing on today? Yeah, I can't let cancer have every day and every moment, can I? Nah...
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Today I was struggling with something and I tried to talk with Sean about it and he said to me so wearily, "Wife, you need to pray about this and figure this out." He gave me no feedback, no opinion. I know what he's doing. He's preparing me. There will come a day when he will not be here and I will have to figure things out on my own. I'm just not ready.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
My heart broke. The truth is that everything will remind me of Sean. Yesterday while he was at the doctor's, I was flipping through a magazine and I came across an article about the best places to ride bikes. One such town is Tyler, Texas where Sean had lived during high school and graduated from the high school. Another page had a shar-pei dog, his absolute favorite. One day these will make me smile, yesterday I just wanted to cry.
But, we had some better, more encouraging news at the doctor's. Actually Yale. He had his endoscopy done and when it was finished, they allowed me to read the report. His doctor here in New London said that the cancer had spread throughout his abdomen and didn't really give him much time. However, when I read the report yesterday, all these places they had checked in his abdomen had come back clear. They did confirm that it had spread to his liver. But, so far that is the only place so it is somewhat contained. The doctor said that Sean was healthy otherwise and strong so that he could live several more years. I think several in this case is probably two, but I will take it! He said that the drugs would be able to give him quality of life. I asked about removing the parts of the pancreas that are affected and killing the rest of the cancer with chemo, if that was at all possible. He said usually not and that usually in this case surgery was not an option. But, he did say that he does not treat people with cancer, only diagnose them. And that every person is different and every cancer is different. So, here we sit.
He is tired all the time. His body has had his gall bladder removed, a cat scan and now this endoscopy all in under three weeks. It needs time to heal. But, every time he wants to take a nap or rest, it scares me. I want him to be that ball of energy he always was. That man who could easily toss our children around or would dance with me in the kitchen. There are no traces of him here.
But, he is healthy otherwise and I have to keep holding on to that.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
And then he is there with his advice as well. "Jen, live after I go." "Sew, knit, do the things that you love to do". How can I when I won't be able to show him the finished product? How can I when the other side of the couch will be empty? There will be no one to hold my hand. To help me with the boys' birthday parties. To mow our lawn and cut their hair. To tell me I am beautiful. People tell me all the time how strong I am being, how I am a lot stronger than I think I am. And to me it feels like a bunch of crap. I don't want to be strong. I want to have my man here. The man I have loved for all these years, the father of my children. I feel like I am slowly but surely losing my mind.
But, I have children. I don't have that luxury. This death will forever change my children. They will not be able to have kisses and hugs and stories read to them by their father. They will be stuck with me. I don't get to drive that car over the yellow line or take a bunch of pills. I know that.
My boys are really spectacular people. They are funny and kind and loving. I pray that God keeps His hand over them and never lets them go. I pray that He helps me every single day. But, will He want to? I feel like God doesn't really like me very much right now.
Friday, September 24, 2010
They will be left with a Mom who loves them but at the end of the day will be a poor substitute. I will just have to love them enough for the two of us and pray that they find their way.
May I find the words to answer those difficult and uncomfortable questions when they arise. May I have the wisdom to know when to hold them and how to explain where Daddy has gone. May they walk through this life knowing that they are treasured. Because I do. I know that Sean loves me. He has told me and shown me a million different ways. And in the end, isn't that we could ever really ask of our husbands?
But, may they, in their "sixness" and "threeness" KNOW it.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Yesterday Sean and I were having one our our "dark conversations" and Hunter was on the potty and yelled to me, "Mama, I need help!" Such a mundane task as my world is being rocked to its core. But, I must put one foot in front of the other. I must meet with John's teacher tomorrow and check on his progress, I must make John's lunch and prepare Hunter's for when I visit with Sean's doctor. I must find a way through this mess to fold laundry, to wash dishes and read books.
I look at my husband and my heart is grateful. Thankful for all the years that he has loved me. What a gift they have been and I must somehow in some way walk with him through this crisis.
I find that I hate his doctors, the kind nurses who look at you so pleasantly as they are ushering you into another office to hear more horrifying news. They get to go home to their safe little houses. I know, I know, they are going through hard times too. Sean says to me, "Don't hate them. They are kind." How can he be good when all this is happening? That is because that is who he is.
So many people have come along beside me and supported us. So many people have offered food, hugs, babysitting services, a shoulder to cry on. You truly do find out what mettle people are made of. People who I haven't seen or spoken to in years are offering their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Such a lifeline to a drowning woman.
Monday, September 20, 2010
It was as if the doctor had walked into the room and punched me in the stomach.
It's hard to look at him. It's hard to touch him. It's hard to hear him laughing with the kids. I wonder, "Will he see Hunter's first day of school?" Did I tell him enough times how deeply I love him? Does he see that look of admiration that I can see in John's eyes when he looks at him? No, you can't have him, cancer. He is OURS.
It's as if we are entwined. He is such a part of me, he is like the very breath that I take. He is perfect for me. Not perfect, but perfect for me. No one has ever loved me deeper, believed in me more vigorously and been a better friend. In November we will be married for 11 years. We have kissed and hugged and touched for almost 17. On Thanksgiving Day it will mark 18 years ago that I met him when I was sure he was not for me and he looked at me and thought to himself, "I am going to marry that girl." Since I was 22 years old. It seems like my whole life. I can't remember a time when he wasn't in my life and I frankly don't want to. I am not sure how to describe how much he means to me. How much I have been honored to be his wife.
Those two children laying sweetly, contentedly in their beds know none of the turmoil that is broiling in their home. They just notice today that Mama is crying a lot. I have got to keep that behind closed doors. They are free, young, untouched by this ugliness and I will keep it that way as long as I can.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I said, "I totally wanted you to hold my hand." To which he replied, "I know." He always does...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
So, this is what I got for FREE with my coupons and store savings!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Church picnic in one hour - had to get home to drop me and the boys off - Sean had to go back. So, we go out to the car and I can't find my keys. Weird for me because I am ANAL about the location of my keys. I put them in the same spot at home so I know RIGHT.WHERE.THEY.ARE. I put them in the same spot in my purse so I KNOW...you know the drill.
We walk out and I go into my purse and NO KEYS.. We search high and low. I go back into church and look in John's classroom, Hunter's classroom, the sanctuary and the lost and found at the welcome center. To which the woman looked at me and said, "Did you check where you were sitting?" Like I was an idiot and she couldn't see I was on the verge. But, I digress..
Oh, forgot to mention, when Sean was helping me look, I could hear him jangling and I said, "Seany, I hear them". To which he replied, "Me too!"
So, I get back from the church and Sean decides to head in all knight in shining armor like. He always says to me, "Good looking but stinky looker." Who could get mad at that?
Well, he walks two paces away from me, puts his hand in his pocket and turns around all chagrined like. Guess where my precious keys were? HIS POCKET THE WHOLE TIME. I just had to say it, "SEAN, DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN I SAID I HEARD THEM?" He just looked at me and said, "sorry wife".
(I gotta forgive him because he is playing Joseph in the VBS play tomorrow night and he has SO MANY lines to learn. He's real nervous. I gave him the keys because we forgot the church beeper in there and he forgot to give them back.)
We had to laugh...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I have a husband who is almost like a machine with an almost superhuman resolve when he gets home to get stuff done and spend his time with those whom he loves the most. He helps me prepare dinner, helps me pick up after dinner, reads to one of the boys every night, mows the lawn, I could go on and on. If it was me, I would be screaming for a moment's peace but somehow he laughs through it all and is so content.
Now, during the day I have two children who I worry about. I almost want to check their legs to see if they are broken because they can't pick up the toy that is two feet in front of them! They have to be badgered, cajoled, threatened (sometimes) to clean up after themselves and I feel like these girls are breathing down my necks because I want to give them what I have - a man who loves me and will go out of his way to help me in any way. So, girls, just know I am trying. I will continue diligently to train these precious boys in the best way I know how. I pray they pick up their clothes and help you with dinner. I just can't wait to meet you...
Monday, May 24, 2010
Me: Hunter, do you like this song?
Hunter: (with a very grumpy face): No, I like Michael Buble...
I love that boy with my whole heart and my whole soul. Hunter, not Michael Buble. Okay, him too....
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Me: Come on, Hunter. (Backstory - I was trying to put his shirt on and Hunter always insists on holding a car so that makes it impossible to actually get his hand through the sleeve -)
Hunter: Mama, why are you so crabby?
Me: Hunter, I am not crabby! (actually I really was but did NOT like being called on it..)
Hunter: Mama, YOU ARE CRABBY! (emphasis mine)
Me: Hunter, I am not crabby, you are crabby (yeah, I was really proud of myself for this response - I was really mature at that point..)
Hunter: I am NOT crabby, you are crabby, Mama, now stop!!
And all I could do was laugh because he was right and somehow, some way we have made an environment where Hunter is free to say and speak his mind as he sees fit. I like that. I hope he always feel comfortable within reason to TALK to me. He has a way of, like his Dad, speaking succintly and to the point and I appreciate that. He is only (almost) three yet God used him to bring levity and joy to an otherwise difficult moment. Just another time to thank God for these miracles he has given me...
Monday, March 22, 2010
But that just like life isn't it?
The seats were great, the company was better and the entertainment was beyond....
But the funniest thing happened to me as I was listening to him sing, as I was experiencing something that I could surely cross off my bucket list, as I was watching this...
All I could think about was him...
You see, every night when I go to bed after Sean, I find his foot and he wraps his toes around my toes and I happily fall to sleep. And as I sat there so tired from the events of the day, I just wanted to feel that foot....
Guess it just goes to show what a happily married woman I really am!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
That is what my Valentine did for me this week. He does it all the time in quiet ways. Checks the air pressure in the tires, leaves the outside light on when I come home from work, helps me make the bed...
But, this week was different. I needed Sean in a thousand different ways and in a thousand and one ways he came through. He gave boys showers, he gave boys dinners, he drew me bathes, he made lunches, he read countless stories, he gave me hugs and hugs and hugs and listened to me cry, he brought me Pepsis, he brought me blankets. He never one time had to tell me he loved me because he was showing me in so many ways. Isn't that the best? We'll never make a Kay's commercial, they'll never make a movie about our love but to me that is TRUE LOVE. Taking the hard weeks and sacrificing and coming home tired and never complaining and loving someone when they are at their lowest. I thank God mightily for my husband and my best friend and my Valentine......
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The Christmas cards ranged from .25 to .30 to .69 and the bows were only .49!! With Sean's job we go through a ton of cards every year so the 184 cards I got for 2.98 will really come in handy next year. And I just felt so bad the kids just didn't get enough candy for Christmas and Halloween (snicker, snicker) so I just HAD to buy them the candy canes for .24 a piece!
My wallet thanks you Target.