I slept and slept and slept, finally waking with energy enough to do school with my children:
Then while I rested some more, my boys mowed my yard! I cried, actually, because I love working in the yard. I have not been able this year to do my gardens, and it is so sad to me. And last time I tried to mow, I couldn’t walk for two days. Dealing with pain is hard enough, but there is a whole layer of grief under it related to the loss of function and not being able to do what I could do before. But I was grateful for the help of my boys, especially because I know they do not love mowing the way I do, so that was a whole lot of love going on out there:
The house is as clean as we can get it with two kids running around, and I feel more prepared for surgery as we complete the things we need to do before I am down for the count. The temple trip was a miracle to me, and filled me spiritually with the understanding of what is coming and the preparation to deal with it and the reminder of the sealing power that holds our family together.
We all took naps today, all of us exhausted. Time is becoming a blur between naps, and sometimes I am so tired but cannot sleep because of the pain. It is a balance of pain management, as I don’t want pain medicine that makes me only sleep. The times I am awake and alert are precious, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything… even if the cost is pain.
Except without any pain management, then they say my body works too hard when it is already working hard. It is a dance to which I don’t know the steps yet. I don’t remember anymore what it was to move without hurting, I only know I can move today more than I probably can tomorrow, so I do all I can while I still can.
The urgency is mounting, and it’s unsettling.
Tonight we went to the Johnson’s. They have been my “parents” for years now. I cannot believe it had been so long. He was my stake president that taught me to forgive myself and let go of the past, who helped me reconnect with my family, who blessed my head when my heart and head needed healing, who came when our babies died, and who now is the patriarch to bless so many more. I know him as the one who changed our light bulbs and spoke at my mother’s funeral. She is my sweet mother-friend that listens, and understands things like pain and adoption. I love them. They are the parents that gave their blessing for Nathan to marry me, and they now stand in as grandparents to my kids now that both my parents are gone.
And tonight, he taught Nathan and Five how to change the breaks on our car!
Five was very proud of himself! Nathan was less impressed with getting so dirty, and warned five that if he ever has to help change a tire then he might get engaged. Five did not believe that’s how we got engaged (two years ago now!), even though he has seen pictures. It was funny.
Five and the toddler also got to look at cows and the donkey and the pig. We all swam, which felt amazing on a hot day. Being in the water is so good for me, as usually it is the only place my bones don’t hurt. Today I still hurt anyway, and had to get out. The kids had a blast, and we were grateful, and everyone loved the fish dinner.
The best part of all, though, was the part I could feel coming, the part that made me teary all day, the part that bookended my temple trip weekend into the courage and strength I need to face surgery this week: blessings.
We all got blessings. The toddler went first, then Five, then me, then Nathan. I felt my parents, and received exactly what I needed, and wept at the pouring over me that I felt.
My parents are close, and know, and care, and will be there. Nathan was foreordained to this task of caring for me, and Five will call down angels, and he and the toddler will bring me joy that makes it all worth it. It will be hard, we know, and surgery won’t be the end of it, we know. But we are a family, and there are more of us than we can see. I know that is true.
They slept on the way home, while I called my brother to tell him some special things. Nathan and I talked about hard cancer-ey things. Then we arrived home, and I sat in the car unable to get myself out much less help with these precious babies I love so much.
I watched Nathan as he maneuvered in the dark, scooping the toddler out of her car seat and taking her in to put her down in bed, and then coming back for Five. They walked under the giant moon into the house, hands clasped, his little head leaning on Nathan. Then he came back for me, telling me I had a fever again, and helping me into the house.
Then I felt the words from my own stake President Roberts come back to me, about how this will be hard but Nathan is strong enough, about not worrying about him, about not worrying about the kids, about knowing they will be okay. I know it is true, but the glimpse of it touched a tender place in me of both gratitude and grief.
I did marry the very right exact man for me, I know, and I love him.
And I am so happy, on such a beautiful day, even if it is really hard in lots of ways.