I’ve been wanting to update but a lot of things have gotten in the way. Mostly, I’ve felt so much pressure to say everything — that I’ve been too overwhelmed to say anything at all. It doesn’t help that I only find time to sit at my computer once a week, if I’m lucky.

Things are settling a bit, though. M. has returned home from the hospital. Having him home has been a relief (no more traveling an hour+ each way to the hospital every day) but it’s presented innumerable challenges, too. He is virtually helpless at this point. He cannot do anything for himself because he cannot stand up. I am presently taking care of his every need 24/7. He has a nurse that comes to the house once a day to change his bandages. Once or twice a week one of our mothers or a kindly friend will offer up a family meal. But other than that, it’s all me, all the time.

All of this comes on top of caring for Roman, the house, myself(?), and so on. It’s been hard, really, really hard. Still, we count our blessings. I am grateful that our family is together and safe. I am immeasurably grateful for the kindness and generosity that has been shown to us throughout this experience. I mean, seriously, I have so many “thank you” cards and emails to write that it will likely take me months — but that is a wonderful thing, a true blessing.

Gratitude is what carries me through these difficult times. Still, I am sad and angry. Between being sick for so long myself and then M.’s injury, it feels like we’ve been slammed this year. I’m battered and exhausted. I want a break and I know that such a thing is not in the cards for me — not for a long while anyway.

I am sad and angry that we’ve virtually “missed” autumn. On the day that M. returned home from the hospital, Roman got very sick. He woke up that night with a 103.5 degree fever. He had a virus and a sore throat. It lasted for several days — his fever spiked up to 104.2 degrees at one point. We missed Halloween as a result. I never even got to put his sweet, little Curious George costume on him. Because M. had just gotten home from the hospital, I was struggling to take care of him, and then Roman was sick — all at once. I went two full nights with only one hour of sleep total. We never made it to the pumpkin patch. We never got to make an autumn leaf project. We won’t get to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. There’s so much that we’ve lost and that we’ve yet to lose.

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It’s easy for me to turn all of this on its head. To talk about how lucky we are and how grateful I am and how much worse things could be. I am a pro at doing that. I’ve spent the last nine years, re-building my life on the principle of positive thinking. But to be honest, I don’t really want to be positive right now. I put on a happy face for my husband, my son, my family, and our friends every day. I smile. I hold everything together and tell everyone that it’s all going to be okay. But sometimes, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to be okay.

When you are a wife and a mother (hell, when you are a woman period) — you give up everything. Lately it feels like I lose pieces of myself with every passing day. I feel like I am shedding skins, but they are not being replaced. The simple acts of waking up in the morning, breathing, standing up — these acts are heavy and difficult. There is no lightness. I am tired to my very bones.

I know that this, too, shall pass. But right now — I am here. There are seasons of life and this dark one has lasted too long.

I am reminded of one of my favourite Bukowski quotes, “Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.” Yes, yes, yes. I’m going to make it.

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The leaves are falling down outside, the trees are nearly bare outside of my office window. It won’t be long now until the first snow of the year. The ground will be covered in a soft blanket of white and there will be a chance for new beginnings once again. There is time still — time for hot cocoa and fleece pajamas and warm fires and twinkling Christmas lights. There is time still.

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Note: The images in this post are snaps from last autumn since this one’s been a bust.

5 thoughts on “No Pressure”

  1. Bah! Give permission to be angry and sad without feeling guilty that you’re not being positive. We have to feel these things freely. Just be glad that you have the tools and knowledge on how to be positive. Imagine how you’d be right now if you didn’t transform yourself first?

    Good luck Dena!

  2. Beautiful photos from last year. You’re totally allowed to be angry, I would be too! But you have the right idea knowing that things WILL get better. Good luck dealing with the time before it does!

  3. Dena, this post was heartbreaking and beautiful. It might not feel like it at the moment, but you have a such a strong spirit and it will always persevere. In the meantime, it’s okay to feel any way you want to feel.

  4. In the land of motherhood, you are allowed to be all kinds of angry. And with all the chaos around you, it’s really a miracle that you could still express what you are feeling inside! GO GIRL!!

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