What Have You Been Doing All Day?
In just a few short days, she ceased to move about on her own, to cook, to garden, to walk, wrestle with the grandchildren. It was the surgery that changed both of our lives on that December morning. We knew the risks, but took them anyway in order to buy her a few more months of life, threatened by a quick growing glioblastoma in her brain. But I never saw it coming......the day that I would take over the everyday necessities of both our lives. Now, suddenly I was living for two in the space of one.
I quickly regretted the days of the past when I came home from work and walked into a messy house with the two children and Lynn playing in the middle of it. My thoughts, (if not my words) said,"what have you been doing all day? This place is a mess.......what's for dinner"...... sat and watched the news, read the paper, while she dragged herself into the kitchen to fix dinner, exhausted by the stress of caring for our children all day. What a jerk I was......yeah, jerk describes it, if not understating it.
So now I shop, cook, wash, dry, mow, rake, shower, wash dishes, sweep, clean, vacuum, change the commode, wipe a behind, and work a full time job to keep the cash flow paying the hospital bills. Now, she watches the news, the football games while I work from morning 'til night, and fall into bed, exhausted beyond my imagination.......then I remember, Lynn did all of that and more, for the four of us......with three butts to wipe......yeah, I did my own.
Now I'm the one who swears and yells in my pillow when the milk falls out of the fridge and explodes on the floor, the toilet plugs up, the oatmeal burns, the cat throws up on the rug.......needs a good cry in order to keep going.......yeah, keep going, and it's only been a few months........oh, my......, compared to her 18 years.
So I go the doc and I say, "Doc, is there anything that you can give me to just to keep me going?" He gives me valium and says to try it. I fall asleep and drag my worthless butt around the house trying to stay awake......no valium's not it. So then he says' "you need counseling".......no doc, counseling's not it. I need to keep going, keep going, keep going! I don't need counseling, I NEED TO KEEP GOING! Lynn did it for 18 years of kids and me, and 23 years with just me.....without any help. And I try to get in a run to stay in shape and turn around, come home and go to bed. How did she do that?
Luckily, a loving God has sent a posse of people my way who have taken away much of what I feared might eventually kill me. But one night, when she said to me, "honey, I'm so sorry that I've wrecked your life", I cried and said, "and where might you think that I would go?" You are my life, and I belong right here, doing what I need to do to keep us going. My joy is here.....and you would be doing the same for me.
The posse of gutsy, loving, consistent, positive people, give more than we could ever repay. Their mission is to be next to us through hell to the bitter end. Oh God, what a wimp I am.......not even a fraction as wonderful and loyal as these. I don't deserve this. I think that I am truly experiencing what "grace" is??? Unmerited favor. God, I don't derserve any of this, but they keep coming and giving and loving, and they don't go away...........don't even know some of them very well. Where did you find them Lord?
The heat turns up, little by little, the load is heavier and heavier........God, just keep me climbing, keep me running, keep me caring and loving........Lynn, the wife of my youth.
And I pray for those who are in even harder days then I...........Lord just keep them going.