Today is the day we start reclaiming normal, as a family.
Not just normal, but healthy.
Nathan and I worked hard to be in bed on time last night, and got up for our exercise plan this morning. I love working out with him, and we have always had fun together. We have a modified plan from my treatment team, so that I can ease my way back into health without damaging anything or overdoing it. All of it is monitored by my fancy bracelet, and Nathan has some helpful apps to use as well.
I am excited because now that we know the source of my health problems for the last FIFTEEN years, my health now will be a whole new kind of health.
So healing is hard work, but it will be exciting to be healed.
Also, I don’t want to call them my “treatment team” anymore. I want to call them my “wellness team”. Much better, yes? Everything is changing, for the better!
We did our routine for today, and it felt so good to move! I finally can stretch all the way out, and even slept some on my stomach last night. It is such a relief to be back in my own skin! I can roll over without pain if I am careful, and the pains in my bones are mostly gone, most of the time. These are miracles to me, the freedom to move and sleep and change positions.
The kids were waking just as we finished our exercise this morning, so they helped me with juicing. They squeal and laugh so hard as we drop the vegetables in! We made oatmeal and egg beaters, and had our sign language breakfast as a family. I loved it so much!
While the toddler helped me with dishes, Five helped daddy gather trash. I am so proud of them! They do much better, and are much happier, when they have ways to help.
When we finished our chores, we all got play clothes on, and headed to the park! We walked a mile, which seems like not very much, but is my body waking up, and it is something. Five ran at least two if not more, running ahead and coming back to us the way my puppy Neitzshe used to do!
I sat there in the crisp morning air, breathing in the freshness as if it could clean my insides as much as the rain refreshed my skin. They played on the playground, and we had happiness and peace. I saw them run through their favorite games, and accomplish new playground feats they had never tried before. I saw them fall and pick themselves up, and I saw them run to me for high fives when they did something awesome. I saw them flash the “I love you” sign from the sky.
It was a bookend for us, I knew, from a year ago, from three months ago.
It’s a new beginning we are seeing, and new lives being born.
We are a family, and this is how we live.
Today starts me going back to work. When we leave the park, I will drop the toddler off at the grandparents. I will go home for a protein shake with Nathan and Five, and they will just be excited for something that seems like ice cream. While I sit and rest, I will do paperwork and scheduling to be ready for the week. I will pick up the toddler for lunch together on this holiday, and enjoy family naptime one last time before returning to seeing patients tomorrow.
This morning was what I needed, to feel ready and confident, to feel like me again. I want to open the doors and windows of the house, to let in this breeze that says we made it through this hard summer. I don’t need to rush in winter, I just need to breathe today.
Because today is already amazing.
When I cleaned up and sat down to study while the kids were sleeping, I found this old quote in the discourses (Jedidiah Grant, 1854, JoD, 2:14):
Jehovah has, in all ages, tried His people by the power of Lucifer… and by the priesthood power of His prophets… The grand object in view was to try the people of God, to see what was in them. [No matter what is asked], a man who has got the Spirit of God, and the light of eternity in him, has no trouble about such matters… They know it is to prove the people, both men and women, and to develop what they will do…
If ever you are brought into the presence of God, and exalted to a seat in His celestial kingdom, it will be my virtue of the Holy Priesthood, therefore, you have got to be proved, not only by being tempted by the devil, but the Priesthood will also try you – it will try you to the core.
…If the Lord our God does not see fit to let the devil loose upon you, and mob you, He will employ some other means to try you as in a crucible, to prove you as gold is tried seven times in the furnace.
I loved this quote because our lives the last few years really do feel like we have been mobbed!
Also, seriously, I do think there is purpose in our trials, and rarely is it a big mean God waiting out there to punish us. Sometimes we have natural consequences, it’s true, and some things are just a part of living in a fallen world. But most things are used by our Father to help us, ever so tenderly, remember who we are and whose we are, and for that, I am grateful. All of it, He can work together for our good (Romans 8:28), when we are seeking what His purpose is and trying to live it.
I love this because there is hope in it, even when the work is hard.
I love it because it changes what some say is oppressive into what we know is true freedom, and there is air in that.
I love it because it means these hard years are not wasted.
I love it because it makes recovery greater even than redemption alone, for He adds to us by bringing us back to ourselves.
Technically, as my friend LeAnne once said, that means I am actually un-learning a lot instead of only trying to learn or change who I am. Instead, it is a peeling away all that is not of God and not of me, and a tuning in to who I have always been.
I love it because it makes this journey about me, not about cancer or miscarriages or dead parents.
I love it because all these hard things make me perfected-in-process, even when I am not finished yet.
That’s why it is a perfected morning. It’s not because our kids never argue like siblings, or because the toddler never screams “Nooo!!” like any other two-year-old, or because Five never stares at me blankly when asked to do something. It’s not because vitamins all the sudden taste yummy, or we like getting out of bed in the mornings, or caring for children is easier than when it was just the two of us.
But that’s the point: it’s not about becoming something fake, buying into illusions, or willing yourself through the impossible.
It’s about getting real, living the truths that set you free, and becoming the you that you have always meant to be. Today.
And you? You are as good as gold, on this perfected morning that is as normal as anything. What a gift some normal can be!