Posted in Self Help

#goals

How many people made resolutions for 2021?

No resolutions for this girl.

This is my first post of the new year, and one I’m writing after a long break. A much needed break!

I never make resolutions. I hate them, and honestly I’m not a big fan of celebrating the new year. I’m a night owl, and even I went to bed before midnight. I think it’s crazy to make a big deal about turning the calendar to a new month, a new day, or even a made up new year.

It’s tomorrow…and that’s all I’ll say about it.

I did use my hiatus for some much needed time with my kids and some searching. Searching for peace, positivity, good vibes, and whatever other blessings I can find.

Needless to say, that wasn’t on the TV, social media, or even in other people. It was simply where it has always been…inside my heart and soul.

It’s 2021 people. Nothing much has changed except my thought process.

Cheers to another year…

10 Ways to Find Inner Peace in the New Year

1. meditate

There are many types of meditation including focused mediation, spiritual meditation and movement meditation.

Depending on what your goals are will depend on what type of meditation you use. I use all three of these depending on my mood and what I want to accomplish. If I’m stressed I focus on my breathing, even if it’s just for two minutes, to try and calm my mind and relax.

For me, spiritual meditation is reading a devotion and spending some quiet time talking to God. I usually play some calming music and use some dōTERRA essential oils. (If you want to learn more about dōTERRA let me know.)

Movement meditation can be yoga, exercise or just a walk. I can always do a lot of thinking and clearing my mind just by walking around the loop.

2. turn off the outside world

Social media and cell phones have made it so easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing. Take a break and spend less time with your nose buried in an electronic device. Limit your time texting or scrolling and choose to have a conversation with your spouse or kids. Read a book, find a hobby and turn off the news.

Trust me. The less you know about what’s going on with the world and everyone else, the happier you will be.

3. leave the past behind

It’s sometimes hard to do, but the more time you spend in the present the better. Forgive those that have hurt you, get rid of the negativity it created and look to the future. Learn from mistakes, try harder next time and move on. As much as we would like a “do over” sometimes, it’s not always possible. Don’t focus on what you cannot control, or what is said and done.

Sometimes this is hard for me, but I have found it’s not always me who needs the help. I have learned it’s not about letting someone off the hook, but rather letting myself find peace in the situation. I’m not forgetting what happened, but I am using it in order to not let it happen again. Forgive and hand it over to God.

4. disconnect with anything or anyone that makes you unhappy. tighten your circle

We cannot choose our family, but we can decide who and what we surround ourselves with. Choose friends and family that support you, make you feel good, and bring positivity to your life. Distance yourself from everything else. If someone or something makes you unhappy, unhealthy, or brings negativity to your life, rid yourself now.

Tighten your circle! Contrary to the beliefs of those with thousands of followers, not everyone is meant to be your friend. And, when it comes down to it, most of them really aren’t. In times of crisis you will find out soon enough who is there for you and who is meant to be.

If life starts to overwhelm you press pause.

5. do what you want

As my youngest daughter always says, “I do what I want.” It’s kind of a joke, but the more I think about it, the more I say good for her. Do what makes YOU happy. We are all adults, and we don’t need anyone’s approval. Be nice, be considerate and do good, but don’t do something just because of someone else. Other people’s opinions are just that…opinions. We are all entitled to our own. Just because someone says it doesn’t make it true. Focus on the positive and stay true to yourself.

6. live in the moment

Since my husband’s illness, people are always telling me to take it one day at a time. I get sick of hearing it sometimes because that is much easier said than done; however, I do believe we need to enjoy life today and not ALWAYS worry about tomorrow. It may never come.

Be conscious of today’s consequences, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Some days we just need to do what makes us happy, even if that’s not possible every day.

7. count your blessings

I have learned no matter what we are going through, someone else is going through something worse. In the midst of storms in our life, we sometimes forget to stop and think about all the blessings we have. No matter how big or small, they are there if we simply choose to look for them. Our children, our loved ones, a roof over our head, food on the table, a warm bed, a trip to the beach, a phone call from a friend…we take for granted many of the simple blessings we have every day. Even in hard times make peace with the path you are on.

8. Simplify your life

If there’s one thing COVID has done for us, it’s forced us to slow down and spend more time at home and with our families. In the midst of it all, I’ve realized how much I crave a simple life. I don’t care if I get invited to the party or if people think I’m unsocialable or if I’ve got a new house or a trip planned to the tropics. And, I don’t care what people think I have or don’t have. I’m thankful for my family, and I get to spend time with them. All the materialism in the world, all the friends, all the stuff won’t make me happy, and it surely won’t make life simple.

9. spend more time with yourself

I value time with myself when I get it, but I’m not one to choose to be alone. I wouldn’t choose to go out to lunch by myself or on a vacation or be single; however, there is something said about a person who is comfortable always spending time with their own self.

Get to know yourself, build your confidence, seek your inner soul to find what it is you truly want out of life. We are responsible for our own happiness, our own success, our own doing. When you can be comfortable with who you are, find exactly what you want out of life, it is then you can be happy. Don’t seek that from someone else or you will spend the rest of your days on an endless search.

Don’t be afraid of being alone, be afraid of doing the wrong things and spending time with the wrong people.

10. write it down

If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that words make me feel better. I write down my thoughts. I journal. I blog. I take notes. Simply by writing things down, it helps me work through my mind, my worries, my troubles, my fears, my journey. I won’t say I always find a solution, but I will say more often than not I feel better. And, if nothing else, I can say I did it on my own, with myself.

Posted in Cancer

ScAnxiety

People don’t realize there’s a difference between general anxiety and scanxiety. For those of us with scanxiety, it’s not about 
what might happen, 
it’s about what did happen. 
Telling a person with scanxiety 
to “just let go because worry won’t help” or 
“the things you worry about may never happen” cannot only 
be confusing to us, but it can be damaging. 
Because the things that cause our anxiety 
already happened. For us, it’s not so much about worrying. 
It’s about remembering.

It’s almost like I want to hold my breath until it’s over. Do you know what it feels like to wait in anticipation for something that you just want to get over with, to get through?

About every two and a half months I start wishing my life away. Taking the days for granted, itching for the time to pass quickly, then remembering to be careful what I wish for.

Always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It’s a perpetual battle inside my head. One I am reluctantly always fighting, even though most days I want to quit. I want to abandon the fight, make it disappear, move on, and end the worry that I find myself engaging in regardless of my efforts to just have faith.

Sometimes I forget, or maybe I lose focus. I zone out, my mind wanders, and everyone questions where my mind has drifted. Sometimes, I honestly cannot answer that question. Sometimes I get so lost in my thoughts I don’t know where I’ve been. My memory fails me. I lose myself and all sense of my surroundings.

Just have faith.

Meditate.

Find contentment.

Find peace.

Trust.

Hand it over.

I know it’s what I need to do, what I should focus on, where I must turn my attention. It takes a constant energy to stay out of the dark abyss that I cannot seem to escape.

I plant my feet firmly on the ground. I get my head on straight, my mind right, and then it happens. One day, I wake up and it consumes me. The anxiety, the worry, the stress. It affects every inch of me, every aspect of my life, and I struggle to stay smiling, positive, happy. I struggle just to be.

It is a never-ending cycle that just plays out, over and over inside my head and in my life.

It’s a reminder of what has happened. It’s a reminder of what may happen again.

Three more days. Just three more, and I can breathe.

Extinguish the outside noise.

Turn up the peaceful Christmas piano tunes.

Focus my mind on cooking and baking.

Search for laughs

Relish the time with family and friends.

Enjoy the glow of all the Christmas lights.

Regain PEACE in one tiny corner of my world.

And, discover JOY in all the moments.

Posted in Devotional

Things

Has anyone ever thought about making a list of all your worries?

I feel like many times I worry and stress over all the things in life that causes concern rather than turning it all around and searching for what I have to be grateful for because of it.

I am truly working hard and striving to be conscious of everything in my life, even the bad stuff, that I need to thank God for everyday. I feel like it’s easy to get caught up in a busy life and only turn to the Lord when I am struggling. In reality, I need to be thanking him when life is good even more so.

In spite of all my worries, I do have some happy moments in my life. I have some good days even though many times they are clouded with the storm that is brewing in the back of my mind. It is hard to forget how much my heart aches everyday, but there is some joy regardless of all the pain.

I simply have to search for it.

It is there as clear as day, although sometimes I don’t immediately realize it.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”

James 1:2

As I was reminded while listening to the sermon I watched yesterday with my daughter and hubby, we are simply on a path to get to where we are going. All the materialism, money, popularity, and all “things” we may desire on Earth will not matter, nor will there be a place for them. What will matter is if we followed the Lord on our way, or if we lived by our own rules.

The sermon, my family’s situation, my worries, my prayers, the holidays….they all have me thinking lately. Thinking about life, about being grateful, about what brings me joy. It’s nice to have shiny new things, but at the end of the day that is all they are.

Things.

We seek more and more in search of finding happiness. Joy.

In the end we realize they are simply distractions. Objects. Just things.

No feelings. No heart. Lifeless. Cold.

Most of us would give away everything we have to save ourselves and those we love. For our health. Our family. For love.

God got that right the first time. However, we are still learning.

Today, I wrote out a list of some of my worries, and I turned those worries into gratefulness. Because at the end of the day, I know there will always be something to be thankful for.

A couple of weeks ago I was traveling back home from out of town and stopped for a coffee for the road. As I ordered and waited in the drive thru I noticed a young man behind me and felt an urge to pay for his coffee. Not because I had extra money to spend, but because my heart led me to do it. Someone had done the same for me a few months earlier.

Had that person sensed I was having a bad day? Maybe.

Regardless, the gesture warmed my heart and made my day thinking a stranger had been so kind. I paid the deed forward in hopes it would make someone else feel the same.

No matter how broken I feel inside I want to remain steadfast on my path. I don’t want to let the bad stuff make me bitter. I don’t want to get distracted by all the shiny things.

I want grace, and I want love. I want it all around me. Even in the midst of all my worries, I know it is there.

It is a promise.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Posted in Devotional, Family

Be Thankful

What do you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?

It has been a challenging year to say the least. One that has put us to many tests, questioned every ideology we believe in, and divided our society more than we care to discuss.

Yet, through this ever changing crisis in our world, I am fighting harder than ever to remain hopeful in every aspect of my life. To say it has been a difficult task is an understatement.

I am awake at 1:30 in the morning going through the thoughts weighing my mind down. It seems almost a bittersweet day, trying hard to focus on the good in order to battle the demons I wrestle with inside my head.

Twenty-four hours from now my heart will be brimming with love, my house will be full, and the four beds upstairs will be filled with my blessings. It is an instance I have been anticipating, and one that brings joy to my soul.

Everyone will be home from college, and the holidays will begin.

It is a time of year to reflect on all I have to be thankful for, all I’m blessed with, and how grateful I am for my family. This year has been filled with ups and downs, and it has produced a time like no other.

In spite of all the chaos, there are many reasons to feel blessed. And, my list is long.

On another note, there is also a sense of sadness, heartbreak and hurdles that have plagued me, one after another. It is hard not to recall those moments no matter how hard I push them back in my mind.

I have had an uneasiness in my heart. One I know is fueled by anticipation, waiting and what-ifs. At times it overwhelms me to the point where I feel like I am suffocating. The anxiousness takes over at those moments, and I remind myself to just breathe. There are moments I feel like I’m going to explode and the anxiety will consume every inch of me.

Distractions. They are my saviors for the moment.

I wrestle with what this week should look like and all it is. It bounces back and forth in my mind as I try to grasp hold of it to get it under control.

Peace. It is near. I feel it just out of my reach.

I simply must stop the noise I have let inside, take the leap and grasp it.

In the midst of all the storms in my life the only peace I can cling to is having hope, trusting the Lord will see me through and remembering there is much to be grateful for.

Other than being thankful for the obvious blessings in life, I am grateful for the hope I have found. The prayers, the Lord, and all the things not seen. They are there and the only sense of comfort that brings any peace in my life.

My children are my salvation. Without them I would not be able to weather the pain I feel in my heart. They give me strength to get up each day, knowing I have moments with them to look forward to, their hugs, their I love yous, their voice calling out to me. They fill my heart with a joy I have no where else in my life. They create the four corners of my world. They are my biggest blessing.

My family, my friends, the wonderful doctors, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my brother, the crazy dog who brings so much laughter to these rooms and all the others I fail to mention. The battles hubby fights so hard without complaints, providing for our family in spite of his illness, and all the times he has been the one comforting me.

All of you have been a solace in the storm. All I am blessed with. All the good in spite of the bad.

It is in the midst of turmoil that sometimes we find the many blessings bestowed upon us. Without the bad, how would we see the good?

Perhaps, we should remember we need to have the negative in order to see the positive. The bad in order to appreciate the good. And, the storms in order to enjoy the sunshine. No matter what we endure, the glass is always half full if that is how we choose to see it.

On this Thanksgiving open your heart to the joys in your life, the blessings, the gratefulness. Find hope in the uncertainty, seek grace from the favors of the Lord, and appreciate what you do have. We all have something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Posted in Cancer, Family

National Family Caregivers Month

Do you know anyone who serves as a caregiver for a family member?

November is a time to recognize and support family caregivers so if you know one thank them for their dedication to humanity.

I’m certain being a medical worker is a rewarding career. I have many family members and friends who work and serve in the medical community. I never thought about the challenges of it though until I became my hubby’s caregiver.

Obviously, I am a wife and mom first, but since my hubby’s cancer diagnosis and my son’s burn accident I have become a little more to both of them.

In the process of becoming a caregiver, I have learned so much about advocating for my family members, being a nurse and wound care specialist, and the mental and physical needs of someone who cannot always care for themselves. I have learned to stand up and push for what they need or do not need, ask questions, understand medical lingo, fight for what’s right, and not be scared to be their advocate.

According to whitehouse.gov, more than 40 million people in the United States serve as unpaid caregivers.

Posted in Family, Self Help

Laughter

Do you ever feel better after a good laugh?

Through all the tears, all the pain, all the bad news, we still manage to laugh as much as possible in our house. And, when there’s no cure for what’s ailing you it’s hard to deny laughter makes it somewhat better, even if it is just for a short while.

Hubby always says one minute of laughter a day is all we need, but lately I’ve been feeling I could use a little more.

With everything going on in the world this year, I think everyone needs some laughter and some joy.

It’s amazing how much better I feel when I get out of my familiar surroundings for just a short while, spend some time with friends who are like family, and just LAUGH. I may need a second, or even a third dose throughout the day, but hey I know it’s good for the soul.

It’s a known fact laughing can reduce stress, ease tension, and just improve your mood. Even a little bit. Even for a short while.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

Hubby has always been sort of a funny man. He’s kind of a smarty pants most would agree, and he can make anyone in our family laugh. Sometimes, he can make them mad as well. LOL

We have this crazy sense of humor we share, sarcastic in a way, poking fun in the other’s direction, laughing at silly memories. When I think back, I can remember so many things, so many times.

Sometimes I wonder, where does he come up with this stuff? But, I think in a way we feed off each other, knowing how to push each other’s buttons.

I love when we have those meaningless conversations, the ones that lead to laughing or reminiscing, and I end up smiling just thinking about them. So many memories, vacations with family, trips with friends, and holidays or occasions that include laughing.

If I lost him it’s what I would miss the most. His sarcastic comments, the way a family conversation is always full of chuckles and crazy comments, and how everyone plays off each other’s words. My children and their dad, telling stories, laughing, making jokes. It all makes me smile.

I would miss all of that. And, who else would ever put up with me?

Even in the midst of laughter, there’s always those thoughts in the back of my mind. And, I know what people will say, but it’s hard to distract the mind from going there. So, don’t say it to me please. I know I shouldn’t think about it, but tell my mind that at 2 am.

After everything we have been through it is hard to forget. As someone once said, it’s not about what might happen, it’s about what did happen. It’s not so much about worrying, but about remembering.

And, it’s hard to not remember all of the doctor visits, all the appointments, all the scans, all the complications, the infection, the cancer, the treatments, the effects, the wounds, the pain, the battle, the fight. It’s too much to forget, and the daily reminders are always there, in the morning and at night.

Always.

Every. Single. Day.

The laughter is a temporary distraction, and one that is always welcomed.

Needed. Craved.

Every day we tell ourselves, Laughter is the best medicine.

As the bible says there is a time for everything. I know God is telling me to enjoy life as I have it right now, because time is precious and we never know when we will come to the end of our path.

I remind myself it is out of my control, and I know I should not fret.

In spite of the division we have all around us, I am going to choose Joy, choose Laughter, choose to spend time with my family and closest friends because I know that is something I do have a choice in.

And, amongst the laughter that will be something to remember.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Posted in Devotional

Peace in the Silence

Do you ever just sit and think about quiet time?

I think about it every day.

My soul craves it like a sun-drenched skin thirsts for the shade. All the time I am imagining I require it to keep me in a homeostatic state.

I have made a conscious effort to cut out all the static and noise. When hubby first got sick, my mind tirelessly went to thoughts and worry and what-ifs. It was like I had no control of my mind, running rampant making no sense out of anything. There is no immediate way to stop all the racket in your head when your world has been turned upside down.

People can say what they want. They can judge, voice their opinion on what I should say, do, feel. Unless they have been in my shoes, they have no say in how I should feel. My spouse is in the battle of his life, and I am helpless.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Exodus14:14

How can you just sit back and watch that without a glimpse of worry?

It is almost too much to deal with on some days. I have went back and forth from managing to bad to worse. It’s like a miserable fair ride that won’t stop.

And, that reminds me. Do you ever just remember a similar instance of something happening that occurred in your childhood?

I feel like as a child I was on a ride, screaming to get off, for it to stop, but it just kept moving despite my mother yelling, STOP! I wonder if it’s real, just a figment of my imagination, or if maybe it’s me grasping for some sense of security and understanding. Maybe it’s my mother or some sort of thought transference, or maybe it’s just made up in my head.

The mind is powerful, turbulent at times, and a vessel of danger when we don’t practice discipline and use our authority to manage it. It can become our master and control us if we give it the power to do so.

And, not always in a happy or positive way.

I have learned silence is fuel. It repairs what is fatigued. A cure for the broken-hearted. It is only in the quietness I can embrace inner peace. It is where God is with me, where I sense I have some sort of protection for my heart.

I believe I have feared loneliness for so long that I didn’t realize being lonely and being alone are two different things. I have learned to appreciate my alone time, using it to talk to God and find the peace concealed inside me. I still wrestle with the loneliness at times, but now it is different, even though I have to restrain it from time to time.

I have regressed, back and forth, to this place. It’s as if I’m digging myself out of a pit, and on the other end someone is digging it deeper. I’m fighting being buried, fighting to survive, fighting my own mind.

If I can simply stop the chaos, stop the noise, stop the race, I realize the battle is over.

All it takes is a few minutes of quietness.

Silence.

Peace.

The more I practice it, the more solitude I find.

There’s no desire for validation or acceptance. No need for words.

The peace comes from the silence within my heart, where I know only God can calm the storm.

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Approval Not Needed

We all have moments we struggle, right?

I struggle, I falter, I sometimes think I can’t get through today. Some thing, some person, some distraction takes my mind where I don’t need to go, don’t want to focus, or just outside my realm. There are just some places I don’t belong.

And, there are other places I just don’t want to be.

I am learning to reduce the noise in my life, surround myself with solitude, peace, and silence. It is amazing how close I can become with God when I turn off the sound. It is a sort of exercise I wish I would have kept up with a long time ago.

Nonetheless, I realize lessons are something I will always learn in life no matter how old I am.

Being more spiritual, believing in a higher power has brought me peace at those uncertain instances when anxiety sets in, I can’t breathe, and I feel as if I am being buried. At times, I feel lost in my life, tormented by the unknown, alone in the darkness, deafened by the silence. Ironically, the same silence that when I talk to God brings me a sense of calm.

My close family members and friends know me. They know the place I am in my life, respect my struggles and sympathize with my pain. They listen, they empathize, they supoort. They may not know how I feel, but they acknowledge my strength, my resilience.

They also know I am human.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 3:23

And, that just validates the reality some know me better than others, and some don’t know me at all.

Everyone in my life has a role, and some roles last longer than others. Some don’t make it through one chapter, but everyone serves their purpose.

As the saying goes, some people are a blessing, others are a lesson.

I am thankful for both.

When hubby got cancer I was a mess. It was like a levee broke, and I was flooded with fears and questions and worry. It consumed me, and it put me in a state of shock.

I have always felt I could handle anything thrown my way as long as I was prepared. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t fall into that category. Most of us believe those are the kinds of things that happen to other people.

It in fact has been a hard year for many people. A pandemic is not for the weak. I know so many fighting cancer, along with numerous other battles. It has been a tumultuous year for us all, and some of us have fought battles this year that no one knows about.

Yes, even in my family.

This whole year has been hell, really. Simply one struggle after another.

Then September rolled around and my upside down world began to tumble.

Removed.

Silenced.

On my knees.

And, I knew then it was time to shut down the outside world.

Why?

Simply because it was the only way I could get through my son’s accident.

I will never get used to my husband having cancer. In one way or another, I am faced with multiple reminders on a daily basis. The rest of the world is not living those moments, but I live them over and over every day as they stare me in the face. No matter how much Jesus I have in my life I am human, I waver. Time and again.

Perhaps nothing can prepare me, or maybe it’s just an adaption I cannot make.

Either way, I have realized it is OK.

It is OK to not be OK. It’s OK to have a bad day, or a bad week, or even two.

It is OK. It just has to be because there’s really no choice.

I will never forget the day of my son’s accident. I will never forget how helpless I felt, how defenseless I was. I will not forget the fear, the pain, the trauma, the sleeplessness, the nightmares, or any of it.

I am so thankful the Lord looked out for him that day, and each time I replay the moments over in my head I realize how blessed we are.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1

There are plenty of tears to be soaked up, but cherishing the silence in my life is helping me manuever my way through a difficult course. It has helped me see where I’ve been and how far I have come.

Writing helps me sort through my thoughts and digest the ones I can tolerate. Those left are simply there to remind me of work to be done, fears I am facing, and a momento of how this is part of a bigger plan.

I know there is a purpose on my path, and slowly, I am fumbling through all the pages to find the bigger picture. This blog has become part of my journey. It is mine, and there are no right or wrong answers. It is my haven, my survival tool, my place to sort it all out and find peace, encourage others, and even follow my dreams.

It is simply a part of my journey I have chosen to share.

I come here, to this place of words and quotes and thoughts, seeking what’s hidden in the quiteness. A refuge for us all to find comfort and harmony. My courage in sharing my emotions and searching for a sense of healing may seem like a vulnerability; however, make no mistake, it is in no way a search for approval.

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Hard to Handle

Have you ever had a critical realization that impacted your whole way of thinking?

I have an abundance of thoughts and a lack of discernments that could go into making the list complete, and this could quite possibly be why I always need to know the unknown. And, why I try terribly hard to be a realist.

Let’s face it! I have said it before…we spend our whole life planning for the future only to hit the brakes when something tragic happens and then be expected to live life one day at a time. I dont know about you, but I have never been able to shift gears that quickly, nor do I instantly accept change at a moment’s notice.

Maybe when it comes to being a mom or having to think faster than four little ones, but not in a situation that involves every life expectancy I ever dreamed about.

Last week, I listened to a podcast from a lovely woman who has suffered her own heartaches similar to my own. One of the discussions during her segment touched on some mistruths and how she searched the Bible unsuccessfully to find where it says God will not give us anymore than we can handle.

I have thought about this more and more since last week, but more importantly, I thought about this long before I heard that discussion.

For a long, long time I have felt overloaded, over exhausted, and most importantly mistaken. Mistaken for a strong woman who surely was made of steel.

My point being there’s no way I could be as heavily built as God must think.

Not only do I not feel strong, but I don’t want to have to always be. And, why don’t I have any choice in this?

Why was I chosen to be so tough?

As the saying goes, when it rains it pours?

How much can one person, one family take?

By no means am I the only one struggling. I know several people who have the weight crushing their shoulders. I am not alone. And honestly, I don’t want to be here.

People tell me all the time how strong I am, but honestly do I have a choice?

Ever since my son’s accident I have wondered how much more is going to come at us? I feel like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And, since hubby’s illness, I have had this urge to fight the panic that plagues me, to protect my children, and pray they stay safe.

That September afternoon, and the days that followed at the Burn Center, stole every ounce of peace I had built up and robbed me of any hope that my children are invincible in harm’s way.

Fear does not discriminate and a few days ago it tormented me as a feeling of panic consumed me. A quick shower, a missed phone call, and a simple reminder of my daughter traveling back to school flooded my mind with a disquiet. I had this uncontrollable feeling that something bad was happening, and I was deemed helpless.

The fear was unwarranted, unnecessary, but yet it hounded me nonetheless. These are the moments that rob me without warning, devouring any solitude I have found and creating hysteria within my mind.

I feel helpless, beaten, and the anxiety sets in.

I used to find comfort in thinking nothing else will happen because God knows I can’t take anymore.

However, one thing I have learned and know for certain is there are no guarantees.

To finish the story, the point in the podcast was…God will not give us anymore than we can handle without His help.

The lesson is to put your trust in God.

I will admit I have an uneasiness about it. I have this misconception I am letting go of control of the reins. In the back of my mind when I am thinking sensibly and my fear is not controlling my mind, I know realistically I don’t actually have control of any of this.

Life is hard and without Him it is impossible to get through the darkness. The most difficult challenge is letting go and trusting what is not seen to get you through to the light.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5
Posted in Cancer

Anticipatory Grief

Ever wonder why you just can’t shake a feeling?

I will admit since my son’s accident I just can’t rid myself of the aura that keeps plaguing me.

Some days I feel so consumed and overwhelmed that I just lose track of the day. It’s like I have no sense of time or my locality. I lock myself up from the outside world, unknowingly detached from what’s surrounding me, finding myself almost oblivious to any sense of time.

The days have gone by, the weeks, and I am still unaware of what a normal day should entail. I have no recollection of what normal is anymore, and my reality reminds me I never will.

I sit in my daughter’s apartment tonight, staring at a photograph of me holding her, just a few months old, and I long for those joyous days and the happiness I took for granted.

We have this false sense that happiness, once achieved, will be forever more.

There’s no greater joy for me than being a mom, a wife, and having a family. A secure sense of being I feel slipping away week after week. It’s as if I cannot stop the unraveling or the rate of speed I see it happening. I simply cannot go back or stop time.

The uncontrollable thoughts presented to my mind create anxiety and frustration, and I fight to stop the turmoil in my head. The tears that come without any sense of warning, the disquiet I can feel building up in a moment’s notice, and the reasoning behind it all.

We are seven months into a ridiculous pandemic. I wish I could physically start a fist fight with this invasion. Blame it for stealing my peace, my precious time.

However, the emptiness there eludes the liability.

In the rear of my mind, I recognize cancer has stolen much of what is irretrievable; however, there’s no palpable being to blame. I am in a whirlwind, spinning out of control, with no notion of how to make it all stop.

I have tried over and over to make sense of the jumbled thoughts and feelings that torment my heart and mind. I long for one person who can imagine the emptiness, the oblivion that burdens my soul.

No one in my realm shares the hollowness in my heart.

How can I mourn something not yet totally lost?

How do I mend a broken heart?

And, how do I accept the guilt for feeling grief before it’s time?

I never knew anticipatory grief was a real thing.

I know cancer introduced it into my life. An unfair loss of freedom has created a lingering sense that more is yet to come. And, what will earn the credit of the final nail?

Many of us are greiving an old life robbed by a pandemic, but I was grieving loss long before that.

We spend our whole life planning for the future, until we get cheated out of our destiny only to live life one day at a time.

Anticipation, loneliness, fear, anxiety, emotional numbness. None of those are made up nor are they understood. There aren’t enough distractions in a day to balance out the emotions that chase my mind.

I am feeling my way through the darkness, grasping for something in the blackness to steady me, take my hand and lead me into the light. I pray for some sense of peace, belonging, and a place to rest my thoughts.

I pray for strength.

I have read the stories of so many strangers, grappling to provide comfort to those of us lost in a storm. Those who know all too well what anticipatory grief is, the emotions of being a caregiver for someone with a long-term illness, and the anticipation of how it will all play out.

One thing I have learned, one thing that I have lived. One thing that has stuck in my mind. We are simply “not good,” and our response that we are OK does not mean we are. It is simply a false hope, and I’m sorry, but most cannot handle that truth.

No one is ever comfortable with grief or loss. Not the one living it, and not the one watching from the outside, looking in.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30