I recently read the blog of a woman whose husband had suffered a traumatic brain injury. Her experience and feelings so well described how I live most days. Her description included several points that struck home with me.
“With all of us on edge, we tried to be the family we used to be; we went through the motions of sharing food, of trying to talk about ordinary stuff when our life was anything but ordinary.”
I cherish days or more accurately, the moments, when life seems normal. Just doing the simple things I used to take for granted are welcome respites from the constant changes that are going on around me. However, little things that used to require little to no thought or preplanning now can take a great deal of planning. Here is a simple example from this week. Mother’s Day is around the corner. Normally, Dennis and Brooke would have gone shopping and had a great time together while I would have had a few hours to do whatever I desired. This year, we had to plan a time when I could take them, I needed to find something to do while they shopped, plan this to include supper and still get Brooke home in time for bed because it was a school night. It worked and everyone enjoyed the time – I even got some new sandals while I was killing time at the mall but it was not a simple as it used to be.
But back to the point of this blog, when life looks very normal to someone looking in, it often is just going through the motions. Underneath it always is a layer of fear and uncertainty. I am always watching for signs that Dennis is getting tired or is struggling with words. If we are out with friends and I’m not right with him, I will be checking in often to see how he is doing. If you have been with me and I suddenly step away or check my phone– it is not that I am bored with the conversation but rather that I need to check in and frankly, if I am worried about how he is doing, I’m not paying attention anyway.
Frankly, I don’t think there has been a moment since Dennis was diagnosed almost a year ago when I was not acutely aware of the diagnosis hanging over us. It takes a conscious effort for me to live in the moment and enjoy it. I try very hard to do this. Dennis and Brooklyn both need that and so do I. I want to cherish our time together and make lasting memories. I want to firmly implant in my mind and heart what this time of our lives is like, to do the ordinary things like watching a movie together or snuggling on the couch.
We hope that there are many more years ahead but we just don’t know, really no one does but for us this thought is in the forefront rather than an afterthought. So for now, I will live, even if at times it is more like going through the motions.
James 4 says this about life: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Your prayers and encouragement help us to live in the moment. It is not always easy but we are so grateful for this time we have right now. Most people with this type of cancer never have this.
- Dennis’ continued health and clear MRIs. His next one will be at the end of June.
- Increased stamina for Dennis. Fatigue continues to be an overriding concern.
- Complete restoration. Although by human standards, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
- Peace. On a day-to-day, moment-to-moment, we need to have an awareness of the peace only God can give.