Time to Start Living Again!

Every post here feels like another deep thought of how hard life has been here. It has. It has broken me a couple times for sure. I won't speak for Hubby or the kids but I know - just by looking at them - that we have all struggled.

Tonight, the Hubby and I made some passing comments that struck something deep within me. I was feeling guilty tonight that as soon as the little kids were in bed, I poured a glass of wine and sat at my laptop for more work. You see, I went back to full time out-of-the-house career work again, after 3 years of part time and at home work.  It's been 12 days so far -- and I love it.  I feel like myself again. 

But back to tonight -- I felt guilty that I wasn't hanging out with the Hubby, chatting about our days and watching our fave shows.  Instead, I was working on client things in my home office corner.

My Hubby is amazing - he told me not to feel guilty, that even though the reason sucked, we have gotten to spend a ton of time together over the past year and that right now, I needed to work and to get things done.

And that simple comment has me so inspired and motivated now.

Yes, we have had so much time together - I can honestly say that I feel closer to my husband now than I ever have.  He is truly my best friend in the whole world.  We have sat in hospital rooms and just talked.  We have taken the 55 mile trip back and forth to Baltimore so many times that we have inside jokes about certain exits. We created some great memories between all the medical drama. We bonded in a way that would not have been possible without these disasters....so I guess there's the silver lining!

Now its time for me to work.  It's time for me to reach again for that passion I have always had for my career and do re-ignite it.  To reclaim that part of myself.

It may be time for me to be the provider - the one in the office working - as Hubby continues recovery. That may mean that I spent a couple nights a week at my laptop instead of catching Big Bang reruns.  And it may mean that Hubby gets to go to school events instead of me for a bit.   The kids have had tons of Mommy time and they are loving Daddy time right now as he is still home recovering.  It's good for them - they have missed him so much.  

We have a lot of work ahead of us - finding normal life again, re-introducing the kids to the "Mom is working" schedule, getting our finances in order after these years of craziness, and making sure that we, as a family, are healthy.

It's going to be hard hard work.  We are going to have to re-prioritize things and skip treats or vacations for a bit.  Schedules and things may be tight but we are moving forward. 

I am so so excited about really living again - living the life that Hubby and I love, full of friends and fun and family.



We - and yes, I am speaking for my whole family - are pretty high maintenance friends.  We don't want to be but we are.  Over the past few years, we have asked a lot of our friends from needing overnight and long term help with the kids to sitting in hospitals and not being able to help with carpools or outings. 

Someone said one day "oh you guys got this!".  Well, yeah we do because there isn't really another option.  And since we have done this before - this major surgery and then recovery - it looks as if its easy and just a simple process.  Part of me is glad that we are able to fall into this routine quickly (makes it easier on the kids) but what isn't seen is the exhaustion, the pain, the paperwork and bills, the shelf full of medications with a morning, afternoon, and evening routine.  And the loneliness - that may be one of the worst parts. 

Friendships are so hard for me lately.  The past handful of years have been difficult in that way.  I look back and there are just so many friendships that have fallen to the wayside. Some I know why and some I don't.  I see my friends all hanging out with each other and I miss being part of the group.  I hold on to these silly inside-jokes from years ago because they make me feel like somehow, I am still connected.  That somewhere in there, the friendship is still there.

Being friends with me this year meant listening to the current medical issues and hearing me ask for help again with the kids or house.  No part of my life went untouched by the medical and career roller coaster of this year. I was - and frankly still am - so wrapped up in my family's own transitions and worries that I am completely blind to what kind of friend my friends need me to be for them.  I am so sorry for that.

I have been lonely.  I have been angry.  I have been jealous.  This year, I have said no to most celebratory occasions with our friends - missed birthdays, baptisms and baby dedications, and I am sure there are events that happened that I don't even know about.   I will forever be sad to have missed those moments.

I have changed.  These experiences have changed me - they have made me more sure of what I want, they have made me more anxious, they have made me more focused on my family's needs over anything else at all times no matter what, and they have made me stronger than ever.  They have also made me realize what to get upset about and what, frankly, isn't a huge massive issue and therefore not one I deal with for long.  I have also realized how lonely we are - how isolated we feel from the very social life we lived just a year ago. 

I am not good at reaching out.  I am not good at intimate conversations -- I hate hate hate confrontation. I can write and so I do that.  And I hope that one day....well, I don't know.  But I know that I miss my friends. 


We Made It A Year

I would love to sit down and write a post about how this year has taught us all sorts of important lessons about life and family and friendship.  I would love to write about how I learned more about my own strength and resiliency and how I feel powerful in knowing that I can make it through hard times.

All those things are true - all those things were a part of the past year.  But sometimes, and today is that some time, I don't want to sit and think about silver linings or lessons.  What I want is normal.

A year ago today, I brought the Hubby to the ER with shakes, chills, weakness and an extreme fever. 6 days later he had urgent/emergency open heart surgery that lasted until the middle of the night.  He spent almost 3 days under anesthisia with an open chest in ICU and then stayed there - an hour away from home - for another 10 days.  The entire summer spent recovering at home.  Nine months later, he went back to the OR and we are still in the initial recovery from that second OR visit within one year.

It sucks.  It's not fair.  And I am ready for my family to get some normal back in our lives.

There has not been a month in the last year that we haven't had to lean on someone to help our family get through something - whether it was babysitting our kids so I could take Hubby to and from the doctors or relying on people for dinner deliveries because simply thinking about cooking at the end of the day was too exhausting for me to do and even asking for help with money when what we did have was stolen from us.  Its been a hell of a year and one I am glad is over.

Except it isn't over.  It just keeps going and going and going.  We are marking today with another trip to a doctor for a surgical followup.  Another mini-road trip to Hopkins. Another day spent together - but in a hospital office.  And another month of exhaustion, recovery, and needing help.

I am sure no one wants to hear the hard stuff - it's so much easier to post about how Hubby is getting stronger and it's much cuter to post pictures of the kids chasing bubbles in the yard while Hubby sits in a chair on the porch.  And those things are happening and strength is coming back slowly every day.  What I don't post is the medication schedule, the gauze dressings that need applying daily, or the scheduling of all outings because we have one adult who can drive and the other one still isn't cleared to pick up a child for diaper changes or to simply load them all into the car. I don't post these things because - well, who wants to hear your friend whine about their day?  I mean, come on! I don't even like listening to myself complain about it.  But in the end, this is what our world has been for a year now.

I miss my career, I miss my friends, I miss our little mini-road trips to ice cream places or area festivals.  I miss being able to make plans more than 5 days out.  I miss our life.

A year ago today it began....and today I am holding on to the hope that a new chapter is right around the corner for us.  A new chapter that we can look back and say "damn, we made it through hell and we are doing okay now".  A chapter where Hubby isn't in constant recovery pain where he can do all the things he loves to do with the kids.  A chapter where the kids don't have to worry about doctors and hospitals and one where the kids get to enjoy their parents.  A chapter where Hubby and I are both fully functioning, have our careers on track, and our family moving forward to a place of fun and smiles.