He Knew

A day or so before we did, he knew something was wrong. He kept saying things like “they messed me up” and that he would “never be the same again. “ He knew it!

Once he even said “they fucked me up. I will never be the same. I will never drive again. I will never play racquetball again, they messed me up.”

He knew when it was happening and he sounded like a loaded guy with a huge fat lip and no one really took him seriously. How could we!?! The anesthesiologist during his quadruple bypass surgery, somehow beat his face and left it like nothing I’ve ever seen in person. No one could offer an explanation and gave him more medicine to try to fit it.

Everything about this situation up to this point has been a nightmare, and he knew it was coming.

Two days before the doctors. Two days before the nurses.

He knew he was having a stroke and it was going to change, everything. And he was right.

Rona Mind

I know that every time I feel weighted by my depression I can just call my psychiatrist, pay for a video session and then get more meds. I dont want to do that however, I feel like I may need to again. This “pandemic” bullshit is killing my brain and I’m tired.

I wake up every morning in a panic around 5am. I pray. I sing in my head. I listen to Psalms and usually fall back asleep until 6 or 6:30 and start my day. I’ve gotten lazy since March, mostly because I dont have the typical things in my life that I once had to keep me busy. I’m tired.

The thought of suicide crossed my mind this morning and it was just the thought, I would never do it. Last time I spoke to my doctor he asked me if I ever considered that as an option and when he’d asked me in the past that same questions I abruptly declared I would never, not even, not ever. This time I told him I never would but I can for the first time understand the desperation someone would feel to get to that point and I could understand why they would end their life. I would never DO it but I could understand why someone would.

This mornings thought was deeper. I still argue that I would never do it but I imagined it wouldn’t be as hard to pull off being there are so many weapons in our home. It was at that moment around 5am that I realized shit. I’m depressed again.

I am going to get through this, again. I dont want to up my meds though. I actually got up and worked out on the elliptical (which is awful) after all my morning chores were done and until now I’ve felt pretty good. I will likely do another little go on it this afternoon or go swimming or something I have GOT to get out of my head. It’s bad.

I’m catching myself trying to make my dad someone he isn’t, someone he’s never been and quite possibly someone he doesn’t want to ever be.

He wasn’t a good father or husband for that matter. He wasn’t loving or kind to my mother or us and I can count on one hand the number of times I remember him saying he loved me. I have many memories of him being abusive with his words and actions and I’m sitting here 47 years later trying to fix what has been broken all along. Him.

I’m not sure why I even think I can be successful in making his life different. I don’t know why I would assume his brain damage would allow for me to reform him into a different person and provide for him a different life. After so many sleepless nights of worrying and trying to figure out what more I should be doing I’m coming to a place of understanding that perhaps there isn’t anything I can do at all. Maybe I need to step out of the way and let God be the one to work on his heart and mine.

I can’t make someone want to “rewrite their stars” as is said in my favorite movie A Knights Tale. I can’t make him want to be involved in our lives, he’s never wanted to. I can’t make him happy, he’s never been. I can only do so much and I think that’s what we are doing. He has his apartment that he wanted to go back to and live in alone. He has his little dog back who was his companion in his life. His vehicle is gone because he can’t drive so I feel a sense of guilt about that but it was for his own safety to remove it. He has a caretaker with him during the day which I’m sure is why he’s happy being left alone for the evenings. We provide him with food and clean his apartment to help him out but without any feelings of gratitude or verbal thanks, it will be out of duty and biblical obedience.

Why isn’t that good enough?

Why do I want so badly to have a father who in return for the things we do for him would say thank you without being promoted? Why can’t I accept that he doesn’t want us around bugging him even though he is now handicapped and relies on help from others?

I guess at the end of the day I just want him to genuinely love me. I mean, who wouldn’t want that from their dad? I’m over here trying to earn something he isn’t willing to give me and it’s awful. I’m understanding more about my moms feelings about him and how she came to the place she is without needing to know all the details. I can’t divorce him but I can do what I feel is sufficient, invite him to come along side of us as we do life, and be able to guiltlessly walk away when he rejects us and know my job is done there, that’s enough for today.

It won’t be easy but it’s becoming clear that I can’t revolve my life around someone who just doesn’t care if I’m in his or not. Sadly that’s just who I need to accept he is and know that it’s not a reflection of who I am. The Holy Spirit has instilled His grace in my heart and that grace overflows to my dad whether he deserves it or not because that’s what Christ is like towards us.

Oh these 7am revelations that take sitting down to write about in order to read it back and see it for what it is. Thank you Lord. I needed this today.

Lets Go Crazy

I cry almost every single day it seems and it started about a week into the lock down. I only took that first week off because we were supposed to be on a cruise to Mexico and obviously it got cancelled when other cruise ships came back to port with sick people on them. I spent a week in solitary confinement doing absolutely nothing and to be honest it was pretty amazing. I returned to work at the office driving down quiet roads and not seeing or hearing any airplanes for about a month and then it seemed like everyone was just over it and started trickling back onto the roads and life started to resume a little more every day.

Even still, I cried every day. I was too afraid to go anywhere and couldn’t believe we had to meet for church services in our own living rooms but thank God for technology even if our dictator governor was being a total ass. My dad sat in a diaper in the corner of a bed in a “care home” for the first 3 weeks of lock down not understanding what the hell happened and thinking we were going to leave him there alone. That makes me cry even to this day. After those 3 weeks and rumors about the covid wiping out care homes we got him the hell out of there and then we all cried. He cried for about a week thanking us for rescuing him and he declared freedom all the way home, it was very sad. Fast forward 6 weeks of relearning how to function as an adult, getting out of diapers, cleaning up explosions of poop, dropping him in the shower a few times, falls, choking issues and a lot of therapy, occupational, speech and physical at the house and lots of tears we are finally at a new phase in life, the one where dad goes and lives on his own.

If you would have told me in March that this were even possible I wouldn’t have believed you. As a matter a fact, everyone that didn’t live at our house and didn’t rehabilitate him to this point said he would and we didn’t believe it. Well give me my plate of crow with a side of steak sauce because we moved him back this week and he is the happiest I’ve ever seen and still, I cry. I dont even believe I cry about him, I think I am exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. I worry about him and I check the cameras in his apartment every time it rings detecting movement when his caretaker isn’t there. I worry about him falling as I see him slowly walking through his apartment without his cane because he “thinks he’s all bad now”.

I cry for our nation especially. I cry every day more than once because I never thought I’d live to see such chaos and yet, I am constantly reminded in my mind that this is nothing compared to how other parts of the world have it. I even heard a small story about one of the union guys we hired who is from Uganda and he is a Christian, his mother is a minister in Uganda and his father is a politician and they got him and his family out of there because they kill Christians there. Opposing tribes KILL Christians. He cant believe the things happening here and cant believe anyone, any black person could think they are oppressed and without opportunity after knowing what he came from. That made me cry.

I know I sound like a big baby and maybe I am. I did call my psychiatrist at my lowest point of depression and anxiety and he video conferenced me off a cliff and upped my meds for the first time in years. I do feel a little better, but I still cry. Maybe that’s just how it’s going to be from now on? I turn 47 in 2 days and I have to wonder if this era is going to be the worst I’ve ever experienced or if I am going to be able to find the silver lining in everything and that it will all point to Christ and His return. I sure hope so.

I don’t remember

We watched sunrise service on tv this morning together and he cried and cried. He seems to cry a lot and about things that seem ridiculous to us but meaningful to him.

Today he cried about not remembering what Easter was. He cried because he didn’t remember church services and he couldn’t remember the songs. He didn’t remember and thought that maybe he was bad because he couldn’t remember.

Then I cried.

How do you even explain the gift of salvation to your adult father with a traumatic brain injury? How do I convince him that Jesus will meet him right where he is, in his hospital bed, in his forgetfulness, God meets him.

I cry and I pray and I sing, or at least try to sing, “all who are broken, life up your face….. come as you are”. How profound. On Easter Sunday I’m watching sunrise service with a man who can’t remember what day it is, crying in my pleading for him to “come as you are dad”.

Lord let him remember you. If nothing else let him remember you love him no matter what. No matter how bad he was or how useless he thinks he is now. Remind him who you are when I can’t get through.

The Final Countdown??

To say the last ten months have been more adventurous than a backward roller coaster in the dark would be a total understatement. Mothers Day 2019 we saw my daughter had some sort of swelling on her neck and by September 11 she was having her first chemotherapy infusion to begin the battle against the stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Today, she went for her final “blood tests before chemo” lab and Friday March 6 will be her final chemotherapy injections.

It is nearly impossible for me to hold back my overwhelmingly emotional tears. I’m doing it, but it just gets harder and harder. I’m positive by Friday I will have no choice but to give up being strong for everyone and the moment I’m alone in my bedroom after that day, I most definitely will drop to my knees and cry out to our Lord in gratitude for His nearly visible hands he has had on all of us for the last 7 months of chemo.

This is officially, The Final Countdown.

Addicted to what?

Wednesday begins the Lenten season and while I am in no way catholic, when I was introduced to the Reformed traditions I started taking on some of them faithfully and some not so much. Well, social media has been “the big one” and it seems like it gets harder and harder to stay off the stupid sites I frequent and this year is probably the hardest so far. I’m not happy about disconnecting, at all. I would go so far as to saying I’m almost mad at the idea, even though it’s that attitude that reaffirms my need to ditch this platform.

But why do I do it?

If I’m begrudgingly giving up something I’m clearly addicted to, why am I choosing that thing to give up? I mean, is it like tithing in the sense that you don’t have to give anything but you want to give of your first fruits as unto the Lord? I don’t have to give up social media for lent for 40 days, but I choose it because it’s a bloody sacrifice in my life. Social media is a huge crutch that I cling to and quite honestly, I seek it more than Christ and I know that is why it’s “the thing” I need to give up.

It’s just hard.

It’s more habitual than anything really. And with everything happening in our lives right now, my daughter finishing chemotherapy next week and our spring break trip to Mexico coming up, these are things I want to celebrate with my friends!! I have no real friends outside of social media, I really don’t. I feel like I’m going to be sitting there in silence all day doing nothing to occupy my time outside of my work and mom duties, and I’m not happy about it.

That all being said I will end this with the truth that even Jesus wasn’t too happy about having to take on the sin of every deplorable in the world and even He plead with the Father like “hey umm if I don’t have to do this, I’d be okay with that. But imma do what you need me to because I love them”.

That’s basically me today.

I know I don’t have to do this Lord but I am going to because I know it will draw me closer to you, where I need to be. It’s going to hurt at first and I will probably find other things to do to kill the time but my intent is to seek you first. I am praying that this time will be used to draw closer to you and away from the garbage this world is sucking me in to. I’m sorry if I’m mad about it today, I don’t think anyone gets excited about making difficult sacrifices in their lives, maybe I’m wrong and I need to check my heart.

Speaking of check your heart, where is John Crist these days?

Addressing the Cancer

Every time I go to write about this topic I am diverted like that cartoon dog and the squirrel, mostly because I dont know who I am talking to if anyone (besides you Terri ) and I’m not exactly sure what I want to say because it seems depending on where I am mentally, thoughts and words flow differently and I dont want to come back to a post wondering what the heck did I say that for? My ridiculous bipolar thought process makes zero sense to me most of the time and now isn’t the time to try to make sense of it either.

We are in the final weeks of my daughters chemotherapy, and after Friday’s treatment she will have 2 more and be done on March 6. While I could not be happier, I feel myself at some sort of  breaking point and everything makes me cry. I feel so weak for having this reaction to things in every day life but the truth of the matter is, I have been strong for so long that my soul just aches to weep and let it all go.

I have been writing a little manuscript about my daughter and her extraordinary life but I haven’t really gotten serious about finishing it, mostly because with her, it seems life just never slows down. I’ve grown accustomed to it though I mean she’s 27 and we’ve had that many years of trial,  but really what I am forgetting is that we have had a good long run of no issues at all. I need to be thankful for that and leave it there, but I dont always do that.

A year ago in March we all went on a cruise of the Mexican Riviera and it was during that cruise, (as I look back on it today in the midst of planning another spring break cruise), when things were beginning their downward spiral and life was going to get awful.

 

Until next time. Be blessed.

Oncology Bound

Tomorrow we take our daughter to her first oncology appointment and even typing that makes me want to vomit. I have no idea what to expect not just for the day, but for the future and I have refused to google because we dont even know what we’re up against. I’m guessing we’ll find out what stage she’s in? Maybe he will let us know what tests are next? Who knows. All I know is I’m absolutely disgusted by this and my heart is breaking.

Return to Sender

Friday we found out my daughter has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We don’t know much else but have sent all of her records to one of the finest hospitals in Southern California and are waiting for them to assign her to a doctor and her this ball rolling.

I haven’t much of a clue what to expect from this and only have assumptions about what treatment will be like. I’m not googling because there is so much information out there I don’t want to get worked up about what might happen. We’ve suggested to her she start cutting sugar out of her diet so soda and all her fruity gummy snacks are out. She eats terribly and has to start somewhere and we know how much cancer likes sugar so it’s a start.

So much has happened since Mother’s Day when we first noticed the lump on her neck. Between that and the nonsense with the church, life has been pretty emotionally exhausting. I can’t even ask “what’s next” because I don’t know that I want to know nor do I want to expect it either.

In a good note I’m pretty much over the church stuff. I can’t even get into trying to figure those people out in that regard I mean, you’re Christians for crying out loud. They sent us another letter but we just didn’t want to reopen that can of worms to see what they wanted to say this time so we sent it back unopened. Classic move on our part I think.

When you get to a place where it doesn’t hurt to breathe when you think about the people who rejected you and you’ve said your final peace about it, is there really any reason to open a letter and bring back all that shit into your heart and mind again?

We didn’t think so either.