16 December 2014

The Caregiver takes a sick day

A dear friend sent me this quote yesterday.
The Caregiver is home sick today.
And he's not a good sick person. He's moaning the same if he has a sore throat or if he has the flu. You'd think, from his behavior, that he's been diagnosed with Ebola.
My day usually happens in blocks of activity. My first big block is getting kids out the door to school. It starts at 5:30 and ands at 8:10 when Little H gets on the bus. 
It's an exhausting block of time. The 3 high schoolers get up and head to their bus by 6:15 (WHY do they go so early? Makes no sense to me.). Then, if Little H hasn't already woken up, I get her up. 
She has no concept of time. And no understanding of words like hurry, fast or run. If you have a toddler, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 
"No, no, no," I say, "please don't take everything out of your backpack to organize it by color now?"
But, lately, she's decided to "re-lace" her tennis shoes every morning. It's so frustrating I actually hid her tennis shoes one day. She had to wear her boots to school. They don't lace up. They simply slip on. 
A win in the Mommy column. 

This morning didn't take any special diversions or bribes to get to the finish line. It was a good morning. She got ready without incident or complaint. It was fabulous. I was feeling glorious, victorious, as I watched her get on the bus. 
Heading back to my room, the first part of my day complete, I'm feeling pretty good. The Caregiver is sleeping.
I lay down and close my eyes.
I jolt awake. I had slept for 2 hours. 
"I'm sorry, honey, I must have fallen asleep," I said.
"Sorry? Why are you sorry?"
"Because I'm supposed to take care of you. Can I get you anything?"
Then he says, "Oh, yeah? I don't want you to take care of me. Don't you remember, you have cancer?"

I'm supposed to take care of him. I'm his wife.
He wasn't trying to be mean or hurtful in what he said. He's trying to be helpful. He feels guilty asking me for anything or complaining about anything. 
"You have cancer. And you will always have cancer. I have a sore throat and some awful respiratory thing. But I won't have it forever."
What am I supposed to do with that? 
How do I continue being the wife, mother, sister, friend, whatever I want to be while living with cancer?
My brain can't make sense of this one. 
I head back to bed. Feeling defeated. That's when God nudged me (or, rather, smacked me over the head) with this verse: 
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27
Jesus isn't holding me to some ridiculous, self-imposed standard.  With Jesus, I can't be defeated.

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