This Wednesday, last year…… I had gotten much worse with whatever sickness was hitting me. We debated ER vs. Doc office. Sten called and got me a 6pm appointment at the doctor. I had a high fever and terrible pain and weakness. My urine was the color of rootbeer and we debated staying home, too. It was Eli’s 11th Birthday and I wanted to celebrate him with our family. Sten’s parents were still in town (bless.their.hearts.) and I just didn’t want to go. But, alas, 5:40 had come and Sten brought Freh up to our room to help me get ready to go. She had a purse on her arm and came over to the bed to show it to me. It had her Dora figure in it and a beaded bracelet and a few other toys. She looked all over in the room for a place to hang her purse asking, “Where can I put dis?” I pointed to the end of the bed where there was a ridge on the footboard and said, “Put it there” She turned with a big grin on her face and said “Good idea” I remember earlier that day, I had been downstairs with her for a few minutes and had put her hair in asymmetric puffs and they were messing with my “selective OCD” and for a minute right before I left, I contemplated fixing her hair. I decided she looked fine and I would be home to bathe her in the morning and we could do something really cute with her hair. I miss her hair.
I gave her a big big hug and Sten carried her downstairs. I kissed Eli and apologized for being sick on his birthday. I said I would have cake with him when I got home later. Sten helped me to the car.
As it turned out, my doctor saw me for five minutes and urged us to get the ER, I was sicker than I thought. I was admitted that night with what looked to be a liver infection. As I laid there in the ER, I remember thinking that was pretty much the worst I had ever felt physically.
This makes me think about the times over the past year when I am certain my “grief boxes” were quite full and I ignored them and it found ways to come out in my physical body. Grief of this magnitude will reek havoc on your life, your spirit, your body, your mind, your relationships….but only if you let it. It has taken a painstaking effort this past year to tend to each of those areas with such precision and determination. I have failed on many occasions to nurture my body, my mind, my relationships. I have even been physically and mentally and emotionally and spiritually frozen at times. Stress paralyzed, it’s a real thing. (ADD moment, if you haven’t seen Mom’s Night Out, go see it.)
Anyhow, being frozen is scary. Like awful terror scary. My house has been dirtier this past year than ever before, I have gone days without showering, I eat really bad food or don’t eat at all. Laundry sits in my washing machine for two days and I can’t commit to switching the loads. I write notes and birthday cards and can’t take them to the mailbox. The pendulum swings wildly between loss of control and controlling everything in sight. It sucks, really.
BUT, when I snap back into reality, I focus and can multi-task like a boss. The longest stretches of normal have come when I am daily reading The Word and praying (even if my prayers are ugly and pathetic). When God said he was close the broken-hearted and the crushed in spirit, that was NO JOKE. I haven’t had many moments of dwelling on what an awful thing this was to happen to us, but more of moments of what is the purpose, how will this glorify God when it hurts THIS bad? How can I further Frehiwot’s fingerprint on the world? How can I serve God and his people better because of this loss?