Monday, October 18, 2010

Heavy

I am doing fine. I think I am.

Saying so feels a bit "The Little Engine That Could"-ish. I know there's no other choice than walking through the journey that lies ahead (no matter how uphill it might be). But I sometimes can't get a grip on exactly how "stressed" I am.

In one moment, I feel in total crisis mode, like I need to button down the hatches and seclude myself from all the "regular" commitments and life dimensions other than necessary ones: parent my kids, be a wife, go to work, and love on my dad. I feel like I cannot give to anyone else or anything else. I feel like I need to be careful with myself.

And in the next, I find myself wondering, "What, really, has changed...?" I mean, life as I know it is no different on a day to day basis while my dad is battling pancreatic cancer. I should still be able to fulfill all my normal social and other commitments. I should still be able to volunteer for things and provide support to other people around me.

But then my head gets all full pretty fast and I find myself drowning again.

And then I crack open Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy and melt away into a really great story. Stressed people shouldn't be reading for pleasure, should they? Isn't there something else I should be doing to make me less stressed? Like productive things?

I call on Dad usually twice a day. That's about right, right? I ask how I can support Nancye. Should I be more proactive there? I just finished a one-week trip to Hilton Head with Dad and family and plan on seeing him next for Thanksgiving. That's a five-week period in between. Is that too much?

It's just an emotionally timultuous time. And I need to give myself grace and leeway for wavering between feeling balanced and unbalanced. And that's the thing: there will be a lot more of that back-and-forth swinging before it's all said and done.

My prayer is that A) my husband can put up with me while he supports me through another battle with cancer on my side of the family and period of emotional fragility and B) I will have no regrets with how much and how quality the remaining time I have with my dad.

Who am I kidding? I can't boil down my prayers to A) and B)... there's also so many other heavy things on my heart. My brother, my good friend in Rochester facing an ugly divorce, my in-laws and their health concerns, my incredibly phenomenal Columbus peeps and all the junk being tossed their way... Wheweee does life feel difficult for a lot of the people dear to my heart...

We will all be OK, though. That's how God designed it. With faith, we will all be OK. One way or another.

3 comments:

Emily said...

Sweet Tricia, you are also deeply on my heart. Kind friend.

GGdad said...

hang on to your great faith. remember how much you are loved, especially by GOD.

Aubre and Gary said...

Hi, I just want to give you the best advice I can at this time with your dad. I lost my dad Feb. 10th. He was diagnosed with terminal Melanoma on Dec. 26th. We had not clue, he had no clue, it was very very traumatic. I live in Ohio, and dad lived in Tucson, AZ. The best decision I have EVER made was to take Noah (my 3 year old) go out to Arizona and stay during the time dad was still with us. I will NEVER EVER regret dropping life in Ohio and spending everyday with my dad while he was here. There were good days and bad days, but the time that Noah and I got to spend with him was priceless. I was with him when he died at home, and yes, it was extremely difficult and has left a serious scar in my heart and mind, but it was worth every single minute. My husband had to stay here in CO and work, so it was extremely difficult to manage the time away, but I can't even begin to tell you how worth it it was. My advice....drop everything you can and take the kids to be with your dad/grandpa while he's still doing well and can get out and play/do things with the family. Be there for his bad days and good days. Trust me when I tell you that cancer takes them so quickly that you must make the most of each day. If you have anything you want to talk about, please email me, I would be happy to talk to you. Love, Aubre Rice
aubregary@yahoo.com