Thursday, April 4, 2013

A taste of my mother's life

I've been sick for the past four days.  Well, actually seven, because it all started Friday when my eye became swollen.  Sunday, my whole body started feeling bad, and by Monday, I realized I had managed to come down with strep throat.  (Exciting times around these parts.)

These days of being sick have taken a toll on my body, but especially on my mind.  When one can't do much except lay in bed, well, one goes a little crazy... at least, this one does.

I have found myself sobbing, begging God to heal my body, followed by feeling frustrated and alone and unheard when the next day I wake up, shine a flashlight down my throat, and still see white spots there.  The aloneness is all the more because I haven't been able to see my friends or attend fellowship meetings or ladies gatherings for a couple weeks now (due to sicknesses or other things going on in the household).  I've missed out on our usual play dates, when I get to see my sweet Becky friend.

And then I realized, this is just a small taste of what it's like to be my mom.  Except, hers is not a sickness she will eventually get over.  It has been going on for 12 years.  I wouldn't dare say that I can totally relate, because I can't, but I know that she has felt these feelings that I have felt these last few days.

I want to play with, tickle, and enjoy my children, but I am confined to this bed most of the day.  It took so much energy for me to shower, dress, comb my hair, and change the sheets this morning.  My legs hurt. My arms hurt. I was ready for a nap, but I knew those things were necessary.  (And I think I had begun to smell a lot like death.)

I want to greet my husband with a smile and the scent of dinner in the works wafting through the air.  I hate that every day this week he has had to manage dinner on his own (well, with some help from the children). Furthermore, the wife that usually greets him now has crazy bed hair, is still in her pajamas, and is trying to rest and keep herself from having an emotional breakdown.

I cry a lot.  I cry because I feel so helpless.  I cry because there is little I can do about anything right now. I cry because I know I'm a big wimp.  I cry because I feel guilty that I am not spending time with the kids, not able play games with them outside, not able to take them to playdates.  I cry because I feel horrible that my husband works hard and then has to come home and play mom. I cry because I miss our fun times together, and I know he misses his wife. I cry because I'm in pain, and I'm sweating like we live next to the sun. I cry because I'm pretty sure the dog thinks I've abandoned him. I cry because I feel alone. I cry because this feels like it's going to last forever.

I cry because I worry about how my children feel.  I cry because I am not able to make them breakfast or lunch, and I cry because my older two are so big they are able to do that themselves.  I cry because we need groceries, and I cannot just run out and get them.  I cry because I have to depend on everyone else. I cry because when Evangeline climbs in my bed each day, I can tell she misses her mommy- misses playing with me throughout the day, misses being chased around the house, misses helping me with the chores.

I cry because I have had a taste of what my mom often feels- and it is hard.  It is hard to want to function for your family- to be there for them, to take them places, to make them things, to play with them.....

yet not be able to.

It is difficult to realize that you are spent and your energy is gone all because you got ready for the day and started a load of laundry. There is this voice screaming inside my head, "You should be doing more!!!" and it is loud and cruel.

So I may try to get up and do something.  Sometimes I try to get up and sweep, and then I'm exhausted, hurting all over, and my head is throbbing.

I tell myself to suck it up, but it's just not that easy. I wish it was.  Lord knows Mom wishes it was too.

I've been sick for a week.  My mom has been sick for what feels like a lifetime.  I can't even imagine what that must be like, but I have had a small, minuscule, tip-of-the-iceberg taste...... and it is hard to bear.

I am not proof reading this, so forgive any typos/mistakes.